College of Saint Benilde needed to fend off the challenge by San Beda University before taking a 17-25, 25-18, 28-22, 25-22 victory in the NCAA Season 95 Women’s Volleyball Tournament, Thursday at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Gayle Pascual and Diane Ventura showed their wares after sitting out the opening set, ending with 20 and 14 points, respectively.
The rookie Pascual paced the Lady Blazers with her 16 attacks of the team’s total of 46, and was also a force at the net with four blocks. Meanwhile, senior Ventura finished with nine spikes, three blocks, and two service aces.
Despite going all-out with their seniors in the opening frame, Benilde succumbed to their errors and eventually lost hold of the frame. A similar thing almost happened in the fourth set, even as they mounted a huge 8-1 advantage at the start of the said frame.
Team captain Jewel Lai admitted, “Siguro nagre-relax kami, kampante. Hanggang sa nahabol na paisa-isa, hindi namin napansin ‘yung score.
“Sabi lang ni coach, ‘Push lang. Hindi pa tapos ‘yung game kaya walang titigil’,” she continued.
This is where the other players stepped up and bagged the succeeding sets led by Ventura and Pascual. Lai then ended the match with a great delivery to Mycah Go, who finished it with a flourish.
With the win, especially against a contender in San Beda, Lai and the rest of the squad were pleased after this game. “So far, para sa ‘min po kasi ‘yung Beda ‘yung talagang pinag-aralan namin talaga. Isa po kasi talaga sila sa kapatapat namin”
This is Saint Benilde’s sixth straight win to come within reach of a Final Four berth.
Outside hitters Cesca Racraquin and Nieza Viray both ended with 13 points for the Lady Red Spikers, while Ella Viray added 10 markers and 13 digs.
Nonetheless, the trio could not rescue their losing skid. San Beda slid to 3-2.
CSB will face Jose Rizal University on Friday, February 7, in a bid to secure a semifinals seat. On the other hand, San Beda will try to bounce back as they take on Emilio Aguinaldo College on Monday, February 3.
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