Leilah Cruz to sit out the rest of UAAP WV season due to ACL tear

Bounce back stronger, Leilah! (Flavius Dulce/DLSU Sports via DLSU WV Team Facebook)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

What a tough blow for the De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Spikers.

Entering the second half of the ongoing UAAP Season 85 Women’s Volleyball tournament with an unblemished 9-0 record, the DLSU Lady Spikers will be trying to protect their impressive streak without the presence of opposite spiker Leila Cruz who reportedly suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) on her right knee.

The development was confirmed by the Lady Spikers’ interim tactician Noel Orcullo last March 29, 2023, after the team received the final results last Tuesday.

“Sad to say, she got an ACL. Tanggapin na lang namin although yung bata naman positive naman sa sarili niya na kung ano man ang magiging outcome ng MRI niya tatanggapin naman niya,” said coach Orcullo after their big win against FEU last Wednesday.

Cruz is recently emerging as one of the team’s most reliable outside hitters and is also a major contributor in their middle-blocking department.

After playing all games in the first round of the tournament, Cruz was ranked as the 10th-best blocker in the league with 12 clean rejections as of March 25, 2023.

Cruz suffered the season-ending injury when she felt a pop on her knee during their matchup against National University (NU) last Saturday in their first game of the second round.

Replacing Cruz’s spot in the team’s first rotation lineup is Jyne Soreño who immediately delivered against FEU.

“Sobrang motivated ko po kasi sila coaches, yung mga teammates ko pinupush talaga nila ako. For Leila naman, willing akong magsupport talaga sa team, willing akong magcontribute,” said Soreño.

DLSU will have the chance to sweep the tournament just like the huge feat the Lady Bulldogs achieved last season if they win their remaining games against UST, UP, Adamson, Ateneo, and UE from April 2-29, 2023.