Venice Puzon led Lyceum of the Philippines University to its first-ever NCAA Women’s Volleyball Tournament Finals after a thrilling fourth-set victory against University of Perpetual Help System DALTA, 25-18, 20-25, 25-17, 26-24 on Wednesday at FilOil EcoOil in San Juan City.
This is Lyceum’s first finals appearance in women’s volleyball since joining the league in 2011.
With the win, the Lady Pirates set up a clash with the defending champions College of St. Benilde on April 11 still at the same venue.
Puzon, the reigning Best Setter, finished with 20 excellent sets, together with five points, four coming from service, including the Finals-clinching service ace.
“Honestly speaking, nung siya na magseservice alam kong panalo na kami. Yun yung trust na meron ako sa kanya. Na pagsalpak niya don sabi ko ‘panalo na to’,” said Lady Pirates head coach Cromwel Garcia when asked about his trust in his team captain.
Down by three, 20-23 late in the fourth set. Lyceum scored three straight points to tie it to 23, capped by an attack error on Perpetual’s Shaila Omipon.
Both teams exchanged points afterward with a Razel Aldea block followed by a service error from Jhasmine Sapin to get another deadlock at 24.
Unfortunately for Perpetual that Sapin error haunted them as Joan Doguna scored, then a Puzon service ace to end the Lady Altas’ finals hope.
“Sobrang saya kasi honestly speaking, this is not only my dream. It’s the dream of the team and the whole community. Nung umpisa walang naniniwala sa amin makapasok sa Final Four,” said Garcia.
Joan Doguna provided the scoring spark with 17 points, 16 coming from attacks, while Johna Dolorito and Janeth Tulang added 14 and 12 markers respectively.
For Perpetual, Omipon paved the way with 17 points and 12 excellent digs. Sapin added 19 excellent sets.