MANILA, Philippines — Caitlin Viray is ready to step out of her comfort zone and embrace a bigger role as she gives the young Farm Fresh Foxies a timely boost ahead of the 2024 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) season, which opens in February.
Following a breakout year with Choco Mucho in the last two conferences of the 2023 season, the rising opposite spiker on Saturday evening was welcomed by Farm Fresh along with outside hitter Jolina Dela Cruz and setter Anj Legacion.
“As I grow more in the industry, I feel the need to step out of my comfort zone and explore more challenges, this time with a new family in the Farm Fresh Foxies,” Viray, who is under the VP Global Management, said.
“This 2024, there are new goals for me to achieve, new experiences to enjoy, and new challenges to conquer as a Foxie,” she added.
LET’S SWITCH IT UP!
Like what we always do to keep up with the competition, we are changing the pace and dropping three names in one go!
Jolina Dela Cruz.Caitlin Viray.Anj Legacion.
FARM. FRESH. FIERCE.
LET’S GO!!! 🦊🔥🧡 #FarmFreshFierce pic.twitter.com/2ce3dpieS2
— Farm Fresh Foxies (@FarmFreshFoxies) January 13, 2024
Viray, who started her pro career with Choco Mucho last 2020, shone under the system of coach Dante Alinsunurin as the opposite spiker received the starting nod in the Invitational Conference, where she averaged 11.7 in six games capped by a career-high 22 points.
The former University of Santo Tomas Tigress was also instrumental in Choco Mucho’s first podium finish with a bronze medal in the VTV Cup in Vietnam and even when Kat Tolentino regained the starter role in their first PVL finals appearance in the second All-Filipino Conference, getting swept by sister team Creamline in two games.
Viray decided to start a new chapter in her pro career as she was one of the key losses of the Flying Titans with Bea De Leon and Denden Lazaro-Revilla, who transferred to Creamline.
Joining a ‘young and potent’ team
“It’s been 4 years of playing with Choco Mucho and I have nothing but gratitude, respect, and love for the team and management. Bagging the silver last conference, our highest since I’ve played there, was so fulfilling and I believe it is a good way to cap my journey with them,” said Viray.
Earlier, Farm Fresh announced the names of the players who are part of their recruitment spree including former F2 players Chinnie Arroyo and Elaine Kasilag, University of Santo Tomas products Ypril Tapia and Janel Delerio, Jaycel Delos Reyes from Chery Tiggo and Julia Angeles from Galeries Tower.
Viray vows to continue reaching new heights with the young team bannered by Trisha Tubu, Louie Romero, Kate Santiago, and Pia Ildefonso and learn from coach Jerry Yee and Japanese consultant Hideo Suzuki, who steered Kurashiki Ablaze to an Invitational Conference title last year.
“I am excited to grow with this young and potent team, especially with a new coach on the helm, a Japanese coach, whom I’m very excited to learn a lot from. I’ve also seen how disciplined and talented the team is. In 2 conferences, they managed to impress so many people including coaches, co-athletes, and most especially the fans. I personally am very excited to play alongside Louie Romero,” she said.
Farm Fresh had a winless debut conference in the Invitational but the Foxies had a breakthrough in the second All-Filipino, winning two of their 11 games to finish 10th.