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Maroons recruit Olango, Noceja

High school stars Yesha Noceja (left) and Kianne Olango are taking their acts to UP. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF Office for Athletics and Sports Development

University of the Philippines has formalized the commitment of National University-Nazareth School standouts in wingers Kianne Olango and Yesha Noceja.

The school through the Office for Athletics and Sports Development under director Bo Perasol announced the development on Tuesday as the Fighting Maroons continue to develop a winning volleyball program.

Both players are eligible to see action next year in Season 87.

Olango, who was named Season 85 Most Valuable Player and Season 86 Best Opposite Hitter, won two high school titles for the Lady Bullpups while outside spiker Noceja had one.

“When you build a program, you need players with talent, determination, and leadership. That’s what Yesha and Kianne, as well as all our recruits, could bring to the table. The UP volleyball program is really thankful they chose us,” said head coach Oliver Almadro, who is also UP’s volleyball program director.

Olango is a 5-foot-8 spiker who captained the Lady Bullpups to the championship a year ago and then back to the finals this season. The 18-year-old was also once dubbed by living legend Alyssa Valdez to be “(among the) future of Philippine volleyball.”

Flanking her is also 5-foot-8 and also 18-year-old Noceja who got discovered while playing for National Capital Region in the Palarong Pambansa before becoming a key cog for NUNS.

“I’m very thankful for the learnings I got from my time in NUNS. At the same time, sobrang excited ko lang din pong makapag-aral sa UP para sa future ko while also doing whatever I can to help out (WVT),” Olango said.

Noceja and Olango will join fellow blue-chip recruits Jothea Mae Ramos from Bacolod Tay Tung High School and Joanneesse Gabrielle Perez from Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu.

The promising prospects straight out of high school will be big boosts for a UP side that last advanced to the Final Four in Season 79 with now-Premier Volleyball League superstar Tots Carlos and Isa Molde.

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