top of page

Soaring High: Dolly Verzosa reflects on her first season in the PVL

Dolly Verzosa faced a formidable challenge in her first season with the newbie team — Strong Group Athletics — as they navigated the season without a team win.

Yet, amidst these trials, her spirit remained unbroken, fueled by the unique thrill of competing alongside and against players she had once watched on television.

"As a new player, I guess I always view every game as an opportunity for us," she reflects, her enthusiasm undimmed by the team's struggles.

This perspective transformed each match into a learning experience, where the goal was not just to compete but to grow, "I always tried to improve on my mistakes in order to play better the next game," she explains.

Dolly Verzosa

Maintaining Motivation and Effectiveness

For Dolly Verzosa, each match in a winless season was more than just a game; it was a stepping stone.

Despite the challenges faced by the Strong Group Athletics, Dolly's optimism never wavered. She approached every game with a sense of opportunity and a chance to learn.

Having such a mindset helped her maintain a positive outlook, transforming potential discouragement into motivation.

She said: "I always get excited about it because I get to play with the people I only get to see on TV. To be honest, it's a huge accomplishment for me."

This enthusiasm allowed her to remain focused and extract valuable lessons from each encounter, irrespective of the outcome.

Amidst a season fraught with difficulties, Dolly managed to make significant contributions on the court, showcasing her ability to perform under pressure.

Her strategy was straightforward yet effective—focus on personal improvement and capitalize on every opportunity to compete with more experienced players.

"The most effective tactic I always bring to every match, especially last season, is that I am excited about how I can keep up or get a point with the veterans," Dolly shares.

She added: "I told my teammates that it would make my entire day if I could grab a point from Alyssa Valdez, whether it be through a block, spike, or anything else."

This kept her motivated and at the same time pushed her to enhance her skills continually, ensuring she remained effective and resilient, even in the toughest matches.

Analyzing Team Performance

Dolly Verzosa provided insights into some of the tactical difficulties that SGA faced throughout the season such as the daunting nature of the league and the awe-inspiring presence of their opponents which further highlights the room for improvement in terms of mental and physical preparation

"I believe it's because we're still getting used to the league and the fact that we still find the team we're playing against to be intimidating and amazing," she explains.

Despite the general team struggles, there were moments of potential turnaround that Dolly was keen to capitalize on. One such instance was their only set win against the Capital1 Solar Spikers, where the team's approach shifted significantly.

"We were eager and motivated to play against Capital[1], who are also a new club like us, but they had veterans who have competed in the PVL [League], unlike us who are tournament newbies," Dolly recounts.

This set win was a critical learning moment for the team. Dolly’s personal approach in such situations was to maintain her composure and focus on contributing positively, regardless of the score.

"Even when our score is behind, I always maintain my composure and try not to get distracted. I tell myself to merely contribute every game and lift my spirits," she notes.

These reflections show how Dolly played a pivotal role in trying to steer the team towards more positive outcomes, emphasizing the importance of mindset and resilience in facing challenging matches.

Personal Growth and Team Dynamics

Dolly Verzosa's inaugural season with the SGA was not just about confronting external challenges but also about internal growth and assuming a proactive role within the team.

As the season progressed, she found herself transitioning from a newcomer to a more assertive and vocally present.

"On and off of the court, I've grown more responsible, outspoken, and proactive," she reflects. Initially reserved, Dolly's evolving role within the team was marked by a growing confidence to share insights and lead by example, especially as she became more familiar with her teammates.

To address the team's challenges, specific practice sessions were designed to enhance crucial aspects of gameplay, notably the setter connection and reception—areas identified as needing improvement.

Dolly describes this focus in training: "We worked more on our setter connection and reception," pinpointing these elements as critical for improving team performance and cohesion.

The guidance from the coaching staff was instrumental in navigating the difficulties of a tough season. Dolly credits much of her personal growth to the support and advice from her coaches.

"I want to express my appreciation to our coaching staff, especially Coach Onyok, who always speaks with me and the rest of the team," she notes.

The coach's encouragement to embrace her capabilities fully and to believe in herself was pivotal: "Giving advice along the lines of, 'You're a high flyer; skill-wise, just have courage and believe in yourself to accomplish anything on the court.'"

This mentorship not only bolstered her confidence but also deepened her understanding of the game, contributing significantly to her development as a professional athlete.

Reflective Insights and Future Aspirations

The challenges of a demanding season have been formative for Dolly, imparting valuable lessons that extend beyond the volleyball court.

One experience, in particular, stands out as a defining moment in her burgeoning career.

"[Playing] alongside the seasoned players, [picking] up new skills, and [understanding] the variations between collegiate and professional leagues."

Because of this, she was able to hone her skills and gain a deeper appreciation for the complexities and demands of professional volleyball. These encounters have left a lasting impression, equipping her with insights and strategies that she intends to carry forward into her future endeavors in the sport.

Dolly’s overall impression of her first professional volleyball conference was mixed with awe and inspiration, coupled with a recognition of the intimidating nature of such high-level competition.

"Excellent, inspiring, and intimidating at the same time during the conference," she said.

Despite the challenges faced by the team, she sees no need for significant changes within the league itself, expressing satisfaction with the league’s efforts to maintain a high standard of play. "PVL is making every effort to consistently provide a high-quality league," she states, affirming her belief in the league’s current direction and management.

Looking towards the next season, Dolly is particularly excited about enhancing specific aspects of her game. She is determined to improve her blocking skills, an area she feels will significantly bolster her overall performance.

"I'll put in three times as much work and concentrate more on my training, particularly on leaping higher, reaching farther, and responding quickly to net situations," she said.

This proactive approach reflects her commitment to continuous improvement and her eagerness to contribute more effectively to her team’s success in future competitions.


Reflecting on Dolly Verzosa's season with Strong Group Athletics, her resilience and positive mindset stand out amidst the team's struggles. Her proactive approach to personal development and eagerness to improve, especially in blocking, highlights her commitment to evolving her skills.

Dolly's journey exemplifies how challenges can foster significant growth and resilience, positioning her as a key player to watch in future competitions.


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page