The San Sebastian College-Recoletos Lady Stags finally barged into the win column against the Technological Institute of the Philippines(TIP) Lady Engineers 25-22, 25-22, 22-25, 25-19 in the Shakeys V-League Collegiate Conference at FilOil Flying V Arena late Saturday afternoon.
The Lady Stags took control during the early parts of the first set as Nikka Arabe, Jolina Labiano and Katherine Villegas collaborated for a 6-2 lead against the Lady Engineers. TIP managed to tie the score at six behind Lara Pasion and Eunice Mabayao, but San Sebastian ended the first technical timeout in the driver’s seat 8-6 after Labiano scored two consecutive points. Both teams exchanged points throughout the set, but San Sebastian was able to create some separation with a kill from Mariel Sinamban for a 23-22 lead and an attack error from TIP’s Eden Maturan helped the Lady Stags seal the first set.
Both teams answered their respective attacks in the second set. Hazelyn Acuña carried the load for the Lady Engineers as she came through with a tip for a slim 15-12 lead. Still the Lady Stags withstood the offensive juggernaut of TIP after Labiano, Nikka Dalisay and Villegas joined forces to tie the set at 19. Acuña was blocked on consecutive attempts by Labiano and Dalisay to established a 21-19 lead for San Sebastian as they never looked back, taking a 2-0 set lead.
Christine Maderazo and former UP Lady Maroons Alyssa Layug and Sheeka Espinosa carried the Lady Engineers in a high offensive third set. Acuña scored a kill for an 8-6 lead at the first technical time out. Errors’ finally caught up to San Sebastian as it helped the Lady Engineers establish a 16-13 lead after the second technical timeout. To make matters worse, the Lady Stags pulled out Arabe after aggravating a MCL injury she sustained last summer. San Sebastian and TIP played roller coaster volleyball afterwards, settling on a tie at 22-all. the Lady Stags committed two straight errors to bring TIP at set point and Maderazo extend the match with a through the block kill for the Lady Engineers.
San Sebastian and TIP continued to slug it out against each other in the fourth set. Mariel Sinamban scored down the line for a 9-8 lead, but the Lady Engineers, behind Acuña and Layug, kept TIP in the game. The Lady Engineers were eventually overwhelmed with its own errors as Labiano stepped up to dispatch the pesky TIP squad.
After the game Lady Stags Coach Clint Malazo admitted the team is still adjusting after National team standout Grethcel Soltones was assigned to the libero position to give her injured shoulder some time to rest.
“Hindi pa kasi sanay na wala pa si Grethcel [Soltones], kaya sabi ko sa beteranong players na hatiin ang scoring distribution,” said Malazo
Still, Malazo thinks that Soltones assignment as Libero is a good thing for the Lady Stags especially for its preparation for the NCAA.
“Maganda para sa team kung wala si Gretchel para malaman kung sino ang pwede pa umiiskor,” Malazo added
Labiano led the Lady Stags with 21 points while Villegas and Sinamban added 15 and 11 markers apiece.
Acuña finished with 13 points and Layug chipped nine points for the Lady Engineers.
The Lady Stags will next face De La Salle University – Dasmarinas Lady Patriots on August 1 at 5:00 PM while the Lady Engineers next assignment is against the University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses on August 2 at 3:00 PM in the same venue.
SSC-R (3) – Labiano 21, Villegas 15, Sinamban 11, Dalisay 7, Arabe 7 Guillema 4, Sta.Rita 2, Crisostomo 2, Encarnacion 0, Lim 0, Soltones (L)
TIP (1) – Acuna 13, Layug 9, Pasion 8, Maturan 6, Mabayao 5, Verano 5, Maderazo 4, Espinosa 4, Fidel 2, Perez 1, Soliva (L), Sarmiento (L)