Last year’s finalists started the NCAA Season 94 women’s volleyball tournament on opposite ends of the winning spectrum, Friday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Defending champions Arellano University Lady Chiefs dominated in their debut, sweeping the Jose Rizal University Lady Bombers, 25-15, 25-22, 25-22.
Seeking a three-peat, the Lady Chiefs lorded over their Final Four match-up last year. They topped each offensive category, finishing with a 35-26 advantage in spiking and 5-0 in block kills.
“Kita naman sa amin na may mga kailangan pang ayusin. Medyo naga-adjust pa kami doon sa mga posisyon na may mga bagong players,” said Arellano head coach Obet Javier, as he lost Andrea Marzan, Anne Esguerra, and Jovie Prado from last year’s squad.
“Pero good win pa rin for us. Siguro kailangan lang talaga namin magbawas pa ng errors,” the decorated mentor added.
Regine Arocha topped the Lady Chiefs with 11 points, while last season’s Rookie of the Year Necole Ebuen added 10.
Dolly Versoza managed nine points for JRU, who played their first match post-Shola Alvarez, last season’s MVP.
In the day’s main match, the San Beda University Lady Red Spikers survived five-grueling sets against the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Lady Altas, 25-21, 24-26, 25-20, 15-12.
San Beda needed to make a late run in the fourth set to stay alive. Down 10-16, San Beda rallied behind team captain Cesca Racraquin’s serving and forced a 16-all tie. Late hits from Nieza Viray pushed San Beda ahead in a tight deuce.
Ahead 13-9 in the fifth frame, San Beda absorbed a last-ditch 3-0 Perpetual run. They escaped via a Perpetual attack error followed by a Racaraquin ace.
“Malaking bagay sa amin kasi unang-una ‘yung character ng team nakita kaagad, pinakita ‘yung pagiging San Beda talaga nila,” said San Beda head coach Nemesio Gavino.
Nieza Viray led the Lady Red Spikers with 24 points. Racraquin finished with 14 points.
Cindy Imbo topped the Lady Altas with 25 markers, while Blanca Tripoli added 15.