Defending champion Arellano University preserved its immaculate record in the NCAA Season 95 Women’s Volleyball Tournament, fashioning out a straight-set conquest of Jose Rizal University, 25-19, 25-16, 25-17, Thursday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Regine Arocha continued to spearhead the Lady Chiefs’ offensive thrust. She put up all but one of her game-high 12-point output while collecting 15 excellent digs, keeping their slate pristine at 3-0. Carla Donato and Princess Bello also proved instrumental with 10 and eight markers, respectively.
But besides its scoring, Arellano also put a premium on net defense.
The Lady Chiefs’ blocking might have not spelled the biggest difference, as they had 10 to JRU’s eight. But it was enough to limit prolific scorer Dolly Versoza — who normed 18.5 points in their first two games — down to a season-low eight markers.
“Siguro [na-pressure] lang si Verzosa kasi alam niyang babantayan siya. Ang ginawa ko naman kasi para ano… Pina-target ko na lang si Verzosa para bago pa man siya makarating dun sa unahan, medyo pagod na rin siya kakapasa,” Arellano head coach Obet Javier said.
Mikaela Juanich contributed three blocks to finish with six markers. Meanwhile, Necole Ebuen, who has been slowly regaining her bearings, also chimed in six.
Sarah Verutiao orchestrated Arellano’s offense to the tune of 19 excellent sets, with the Lady Chiefs outgunning the Lady Bombers with a 36 to 20 differential.
“Alam ko naman ang JRU talagang naghahanda lagi ‘yan eh. Kaya lang medyo na-shock ako na medyo nawala sila kumpara sa previous games nila na maganda ang performance ng JRU,” Javier added. “Isa rin sa factor siguro na galing sila sa talo, kaya siguro medyo mababa ang morale ng team ng JRU kanina.”
True enough, the Lady Bombers have found themselves in a slump. They have now lost in succession following an opening day win at the expense of San Sebastian, falling down to the middle of the pack with a 1-2 card.
Besides Versoza, Renesa Melgar and Mary Ruiz were also held down to as low as five markers apiece.
Arellano will collide with San Sebastian on Saturday, January 25, in a bid to preserve its pristine slate. Meanwhile, JRU will try to snap out of its funk when it faces Lyceum on the same day. Both matches will be held at the same venue.