Graduating Jennifer Nierva hopes to leave her ‘champion attitude’ to NU – rezal404

Jennifer Nierva NU Lady Bulldogs UAAP

NU’s Jennifer Nierva. UAAP PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—It may not be the ending Jennifer Nierva wanted for her UAAP career but she hopes to leave her champion attitude to the remaining National University Lady Bulldogs.

The graduating libero ended her collegiate stint along with team captain Princess Robles and Joyme Cagande as runner-ups after NU absorbed a 25-19, 25-23, 15-25, 17-25, 10-15 meltdown with La Salle clinching the Season 85 title in Game 2 on Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.

Nierva, who protected the floor with 20 excellent receptions and 12 digs, believes the holdovers led by Bella Belen, Alyssa Solomon, and Lams Lamina, will come back stronger next season, bringing all the lessons this year and the winning attitude that she showed to her younger teammates.

“I think the champion attitude (will be my legacy). Though we fell short this season, but I know deep inside my heart, we are still champions,” said Nierva in Filipino.

“I know babalik at babalik sila sa pagiging champion kasi ang dami kong napagdaanan before makasama sila, and kita ko kung paano kami yung team namin pag natatalo kami. Di namin hinahayaan na inaapakan kami,” she added.

Nierva, who won a couple of championships with Nazareth School in the UAAP girls’ division, had a losing rookie season when she, Robles, Cagande, and Ivy Lacsina entered the collegiate ranks. Their sophomore year was wiped out by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The batch of Belen, Lamina, Toring, and Solomon went up to the seniors’ tournament and swept all 16 games in Season 84 to end NU’s 65-year title drought.

“During my first year, I always cry because we always lose. I couldn’t accept it because I am very competitive and an achiever. My second year was cut but it was a good start for us,” Nierva said in Filipino. “When the young players arrived last season. My dream was fulfilled. When they came in, I felt that it was the best opportunity to bring our legacy from high school and it happened after winning the championship.”

However, last year’s Best Libero’s numbers declined as the Lady Bulldogs didn’t win a single game against La Salle and missed the opportunity to earn back-to-back championships.

Nierva remained proud of her teammates.

“Now, we fell short, though we still did well. This just shows na there’s no limit if you dream and when you have a goal in mind and work hard for it, you will be able to do it,” she said. “We’ve been through so much this season. We had a lot of ups and downs compared to last season. But I’m so proud because they aren’t quitters. It is more than just winning a championship. It’s about the relationship we built.”

The 23-year-old defensive specialist will be taking her act to the Premier Volleyball League, although she hasn’t disclosed the team she will play for.

Despite her departure, Nierva is confident that the Lady Bulldogs will climb their way to the top next year.

“I know that they are thinking about what to do next season so they won’t feel this heartbreak again. I think (I was able to show them) the character of NU (student-athlete), who values ​​​​hard work and relationship to the teammates,” Nierva said.


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