The Arellano University Lady Chiefs needed to take a hard hit before waking up and dominating the Jose Rizal University Lady Bombers 26-28, 25-6, 25-15, 25-20 in their first match back from the holiday break in the NCAA Season 92 Women’s Volleyball Tournament at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Arellano started slow on their feet but their superior strength and height allowed them to keep a steady four-point wall in the first set. The Lady Chiefs then had to scramble to earn a 24-22 advantage but JRU managed to force a deuce thanks to timely Shola Alvarez hits. JRU then stumbled into momentum, drawing an error from AU to toe the set at 26, setting up back-to-back transition conversations from Rosalie Pepito to give the frame to the Lady Bombers.
“‘Yun talaga ang problema sa team kanina – in-underestimate namin ‘yung JRU kaya naging ganoon ‘yung resulta ng first set,” rued AU head coach Obet Javier. “Sinabi ko sa kanila na kung ganoon ‘yung mangyayare, bababa pa kami sa standings niyan. Buti na lang nag-respond ‘yung mga players.”
As a stern reply, the Lady Chiefs demolished JRU from the onset of the second set, building a massive 15-5 lead and never looking back. The third set had the Lady Bombers fight until Arellano broke a 10-all tie and raced to an insurmountable 21-14 lead.
Regaining the sets lead, Arellano nearly fell into a lull in the fourth set, allowing JRU to creep ahead, 10-6, before mustering a decisive comeback to seal the match.
“Problema talaga ng team ko yan na kapag nakakalamang, mag-rerelax bigla. Kailangan talaga namin maayos ‘yan,” Javier reflected.
The veteran head coach also emphasized his teams need to find consistency despite winning their fifth straight match.
“Hindi talaga kami puwedeng magrelax kahit sunod-sunod ‘yung panalo kasi mahaba pa talaga ang season namin kung gusto namin maabot ‘yung championship,” Javier asserted.
Four Lady Chiefs tallied double-digit scoring outputs with Jovielyn Prado amassing 18 points and team captain Rialen Sante adding 15.
The Lady Chiefs (5-1) face the defending champs CSB Lady Blazers (5-1) next Wednesday.
Shola Alvarez towed the Lady Bombers with 17 points off 12 attacks, a block, and four aces while Rosalie Pepito added 14.
JRU (2-5) plays next on January 18 against the Letran Lady Knights (0-6).
AU (3) – Prado 18, Sante 15, Esguerra 13, Arocha 10, Marzan 8, Calixto 2, Flores 2, Juanich 1, Ramirez 0, Sanchez 0, Ibisa (L), Galang (L)
JRU (1) – Alvarez 17, Pepito 14, Montojo 9, Batalon 4, Bondoc 2, Rivera 2, Bodiongan 0, Macaraya (L)