After another seesaw battle indicative of the how NU and UST have duked it out in this Finals series, the Bulldogs inched past the Tigers, 19-21, 21-18, 17-15 to claim their third straight Beach Volleyball title at the UE Caloocan sand court.
Playing in their final season for NU, Joseph Tipay and Edwin “Toyo” Tolentino masterfully controlled the pace of the game, successfully targeting UST’s Kris Roy Guzman, the less powerful hitter of the pair Tigers and building big early leads. Indoor volleyball’s record holder for most points in a season, Mark Alfafara sparked a Thomasian surge late in the first set with NU leading, 17-13. Alfafara scored five of UST’s next 8 points notching the set for the Tigers.
The Bulldogs would stifle a similar late rally from the Tigers in the second set, but Toyo Tolentino refused to let go of the lead, pacing the offense for the Bulldogs with a variety of hits at the net. NU would claim match point in the deciding set at 14-12, but a clutch drop from Guzman and an untimely net interference error from Tipay would hang the championship at deuce. NU’s Toyo Tolentino scored 76 percent of NU’s points in the finals but it was Joseph Tipay who put the finishing touches on another epic Finals series between the NU and UST as Tipay scored the Final two points of the season.
NU began their Beach Volleyball dominance at Season 74 of the UAAP where they downed the FEU Tams. Their last two titles came at the expense of the UST Tigers.