Newly-minted team captain Lucille Almonte embraces leadership role in Adamson

Lucille Almonte and the rest of the Lady Falcons are ecstatic to start afresh. 

The Adamson University (AdU) Lady Falcons had an impressive campaign in UAAP Season 85. They finished the elimination rounds with a 10-4 record before bowing out to finalists NU Lady Bulldogs in the final four to settle for 3rd place.

The continuous growth of AdU excited not only Adamson fans, but also the whole volleyball community. Everyone knew that the Lady Falcons will be a force to be reckoned with in the next years.

Shockingly, the San Marcelino-based squad went on a sudden change of direction with the departure of some core members.

Questions rained down on Adamson when news officially broke out.

“Where will Adamson go from here?”

“Who will be the new coach?”

Just days after, the school immediately appointed former Adamsonian John Philip Yude — the girls’ volleyball coach who steered the Baby Falcons to a runner-up finish.

However, some still asked, “who will lead this new-look Lady Falcons crew with the core gone?”

Good news for Adamson fans.

Amidst all the noise surrounding AdU’s women’s volleyball team, there is one senior who stayed on to guard the Lady Falcons’ nest: Lucille Almonte.

The newly-named team captain knows that it’s a huge task, needing to be more vocal in the team that is mostly composed of the rookies and sophomores. Thankfully, her teammates are making the job easier for her.

“It’s a big responsibility that I have to take. I’m working on being a vocal leader both on and off the court. In this way, I could get to know the team, especially the rookies,” Almonte said, “I’m still adjusting to it but the team has been very supportive to make that responsibility lighter and more bearable,” she added.

Now that she’s the team skipper, Akari Sports wanted to know what type of leadership she would bring to the Lady Falcons.

“I’m the type of leader na perfectionist or someone na mataas yung standards of excellence because I really hate losing and I want to correct the tiniest of details in order for us to win,” the team captain responded.

As mentioned, guiding Almonte in her new role is none other than Coach Yude, who always reminds her and the team to stay composed at all times — especially during difficult stretches.

“[What] I learned from Coach Yuds is to be patient all the time. Parati nya sinasabi samin yan every time we’re having a hard time, and also not to give up on them (my teammates),” she said.

With all eyes now focused on AdU’s campaign in the Shakey’s Super League (SSL) National Invitationals that started last week, Almonte is thrilled to showcase the rebuilding Lady Falcons against not only their UAAP rivals, but also teams from other collegiate leagues.

“I’m very excited because it’s a national competition. Marami kaming makakalaban na ibang teams [outside Manila], and this is one of the opportunities na I’m excited about because most of my teammates are new. Siyempre I’m excited to play with them and kung anong ipapakita nila.”

The Kings’ Montessori School standout though noted that they are not yet where they want to be, but with more practices and offseason tournaments like the SSL, they will be more than ready come the next UAAP season.

“We’re adjusting really well and Coach Yude has been really understanding to all of us. He has been playing through our strengths. System wise, we’re getting there, that’s why we need more games in order for us to fully grasp the system and adjust right away in time for the big leagues,” she said.

When asked about the the team’s current mindset moving forward despite the revolving issues surrounding them, the Lady Falcons’ captain replied, “We just need to play and give our all amidst challenges and adversities. You really can’t avoid those at times but we just have to be resilient and adaptive. Those challenges will be easier if magkakasama kami no matter what.”

Currently, the Lady Falcons are in the SSL National Invitationals semifinals after sweeping the eliminations and knockout quarterfinals. 

Adamson will once again lean on its captain who led the scoring in the past two matches versus Lyceum and Jose Maria College Foundation with 10 and 12 points respectively.

The Lady Falcons will square off against the NCAA Season 98 women’s volleyball runner up University of Perpetual Help System Dalta Lady Altas who are coming off inspired after eliminating rivals and defending champs College of Saint Benilde Lady Blazers.

AdU and UPHSD clash in the semis tomorrow, August 4, 2pm at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan. 

As competition only got tougher, Almonte ended with a message to their supporters, “Lalaban hanggang dulo ang Adamson Lady Falcons.”

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