Shaila Omipon powered University of Perpetual Help System DALTA to clinch an NCAA Season 98 Womens Seniors Volleyball Final Four ticket after prevailing over Lyceum of the Philippines University via a sweep, 25-21, 25-13, 25-22, Friday at the San Andres Sports Complex.
With the win, the Lady Altas are now in the second spot with a 7-1 record, just behind defending champions College of Saint Benilde.
And head coach Sandy Rieta was happy with the win because this is the first time he coached the Lady Altas getting into the final four, but this was also the anniversary of him taking over the women’s volleyball team.
“Sa akin kasi napakasarap ng pakiramdam kasi as a head coach ng womens first time, first time ko rin makapasok sa final four. So second season ko ‘to eh, parang [nostalgia] nga eh,” said the joyful head coach.
“Anniversary ko ngayon nung nag take over ako sa kanila around march din ‘yun eh nung nag take over ako sa womens,” he added.
Omipon topped the scoring with 22 points on 29 attacks, two aces, and six excellent digs.
The Lady Altas even got a total of 15 errors in the game
Tied at 15-all, Lyceum’s Joan Doguna crosscourt kill gave her side a solitary point advantage, 16-15. However, Perpetual initiated a 4-1 run to get a 20-17 cushion capped by Janeth Tulang’s attack that went outside.
However, the Lady Pirates trimmed the deficit to two after a Tulang crosscourt, 21-23. An attack error from Omipon made Lyceum catch up with a one-point deficit.
Although thanks to Omipon stepping up, she delivered back-to-back kills to seal the win immediately.
Mary Rhose Dapol notched 19 points on 18 attacks, two aces, and a block. Marian Andal contributed 21 excellent digs and seven excellent receptions, while Jhasmine Sapin chipped in 19 excellent sets.
Only Doguna was the sole double-digit scorer on the losing side as she steered Lyceum with 12 points on 12 attacks, while team captain Venice Puzon added 11 excellent sets.
Lyceum is now in a tight spot that might lose its final four hopes as they dropped to a 6-3 and are now at the fifth spot.
In the second game, Jose Rizal University obtained its first win in the season in a hard-fought five-setter game against Emilio Aguinaldo College, 25-19, 21-25, 17-25, 25-19, 15-4.
Even without clinching a final four spot, unlike last year, head coach Mia Tioseco was proud that her team proved they could win matches and fight harder until they could.
“Siyempre sobrang saya. tagal-tagal namin… kumbaga nag-iintay, pinaghihirapan. Pero, sa end medyo kinakapos kami lagi eh. so buti na lang we came through this game,” gushed Tioseco.
“And I’m very proud of the girls [na] at least, na prove na nila ‘yung matagal ko ng alam na kaya naman talaga nila,” Tioseco added.
After a good start in the first set, the Lady Bombers had lapses in the second and third sets. However, they regained their momentum in the fourth and fifth sets.
JRU already started a dominating 8-1 run to finish the half capped by a Syd Niegos and Mailey Amante’s block.
Then, the Lady Bombers did not let the Lady Generals bulge a bit closer as they turned an 8-1 advantage to a 14-3 set point after May Ruiz down-the-line kill.
Then EAC’s Jen Omapass Attack error ended the game immediately for her team to send back home crashing down.
Riza Rose led her team with 22 points on 17 attacks and five service aces. Niegos and Ruiz produced 17 and 16 points each, with the former on 16 attacks.
Marianne Alona registered a game-high 40 excellent digs with 15 excellent receptions, while Lyn Laruente chimed in 20 excellent sets and 12 excellent digs.
Meanwhile, for the Lady Generals, Krizzia Reyes registered a game-high 30 points on 27 attacks, along with 14 excellent digs.
Omapas added 11 points on 11 attacks, while Alex Salvaloza got 31 excellent digs and 31 excellent receptions for the losing cause.
JRU improved its record to 1-7, while EAC dropped to a 2-6 win-loss slate.