Angeline Poyos

The last two UAAP seasons have seen a trend of rookie MVPs, with NU’s Michaela Belen and DLSU’s Angel Canino taking the awards, and this year, UST’s Angeline Poyos is on track to achieve the same feat.

In the first round, Poyos tallied a league-best 42.07-percent spiking success rate and amassed 152 points, the second-highest in the league, only trailing behind UE’s rookie Casley Dongallo, who had 156 points.

She also ranked as the second-best server, averaging 0.44 per set.

Despite her impressive statistics that make her a frontrunner for the MVP award, Poyos said she prioritizes the team’s success above individual accolades.

“Hindi ko naman hinahabol na mag-lead ako sa MVP,” Poyos told the Varsitarian. “Ang importante sa akin is ‘yung team ay makuha ‘yung panalo every game. Just one game at a time.”

“No expectations naman, pero kung papalarin, I will be grateful if makuha ‘yong award.”

Poyos has also been a steady defensive presence, averaging 0.37 blocks and 1.67 digs per set, as well as a 30.37-percent success rate in the receiving department.

Poyos acknowledged feeling pressure from the expectations of others, especially in maintaining the team’s unbeaten streak, but she said she remains committed to working hard to contribute to the Tigresses’ success.

“Sobrang laking pressure para sa akin na may mga nag-e-expect na makuha ko ‘yong award,” Poyos said. “Pero sa part ko naman, mas gagawin kong motivation ‘yon. Magtatrabaho pa rin ako para ma-keep namin ‘yung winning streak.”

The rookie outside hitter spearheaded the Tigresses’ first-round sweep with a triple-double performance of 18 points, 10 excellent digs and 10 excellent receptions in their game against the Adamson Lady Falcons, which improved the team’s record to a perfect 7-0.

The Tigresses will head into the second round undefeated. They will face the Ateneo Blue Eagles on Wednesday, March 20, 4 p.m. at the Araneta Coliseum.