Since returning to the NCAA in 2008, the Jose Rizal University volleyball program has struggled mightily. 12 years later, the Lady Bombers etched what could be a turning point for their school.
Behind an inspired performance from captain Shola Alvarez, the Lady Bombers trounced the most celebrated team in the NCAA, San Sebastian College-Recoletos Lady Stags for their first win in Season 93, 27-25, 25-23, 22-25, 16-25, 15-12, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
JRU started the match splendidly, erasing a 23-18 Lady Stags lead in the first set for a clutch win in a prolonged deuce. The Lady Stags then relinquished a 15-10 cushion in the following frame to hand the Lady Bombers a two-set lead.
The Lady Stags made sure to protect their leads in the following two sets to force a decider. The Lady Bombers did not need to come back from a decit in the fifth set, taking an 8-4 advantage. The Lady Stags came within two points, 13-11, after consecutive Lady Bombers error. But Alvarez had the last say, propelling JRU to the win via back-to-back kills.
“Sobrang happy na nanalo kami kasi veteran team sila (San Sebastian) and may winning legacy sila, kumabaga. Two years in a row silang nasa Finals and, siyempre, it’s a very big step for us na at least nakapanalo kami sa ganoong ka-veteran na team,” said JRU head coach Mia Teoseco.
“Happy ako sa girls dahil ngayon masasabi nila na they can compete with other teams,” the tactician added.
The Masbate-native Alvarez tallied a career-high 28 points off 24 attacks and four blocks. The Lady Bombers also received a boost from the Lady Stags’ 44 errors.
The Lady Bombers, to the recollection of their team officials, have never beaten the Lady Stags.
The Lady Bombers (1-1) face Emilio Aguinadlo College (0-2) on Friday also at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
The Lady Stags suffered their first loss in the elimination round after collecting sweeps in the past two seasons.
Nikka Dalisay topped SSC-R with 17 points while Daurene Santos and Joyce Sta. Rita each had 16.
The short-handed Lady Stags (1-1) try to recover next Monday against the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA (1-0).
JRU (3) – Alvarez 28, Versoza 15, Montojo 9, Bautista 5, Bodiongan 3, Ebuenga 1, Rivera 0, Sibangan 0, Macaraya (L)
SSC-R (2) – Dalisay 17, Santos 16, Sta. Rita 16, Encarnacion 15, Amponin 7, Guillema 4, Eroa (L)