National University Nazareth School showed steely resolve in the first and third sets to beat Adamson University, 26-24, 25-22, 29-27 and retain the UAAP Season 85 high school girls’ volleyball crown Monday at the packed Paco Arena.
The Lady Bullpups won the best-of-three series, 2-1, for their sixth title overall.
Setter Abegail Pono, in her final year for NUNS, was named the Finals MVP.
“Masaya ako dahil sa huling season ko sa NUGVT, may maiiwan akong masayang alaala na nangyari po sa amin,” said Pono, who idolizes Camilla Lamina, a former high school girls champion for the Lady Bullpups.
“Okay lang po na kahit hindi na-sweep yung season na ito, at least nanalo po kami. Binigay namin yung buong puso po namin sa laban na ito, sa season na ito,” the Cebu native added.
The Baby Falcons, who won Game 2 in five sets last Saturday to force a decider, raced to an early 10-3 lead on a Red Bascon kill.
But Adamson failed to sustain its hot start as NUNS stormed back behind Celine Marsh’s cross-court spike and season MVP Kianne Olango’s kill to secure the opening set.
The Lady Bullpups were in full control in the second set but were tested by the Baby Falcons in the third.
Trailing 17-21, NUNS was able to claw back and reached the championship point first at 25-24 on a net touch violation by Adamson.
Olango’s kill forced the match’s final deadlock at 27-27. Then Rob Silla, atoning from an earlier service error, nailed an ace to put the Lady Bullpups at championship point once more.
Bienne Bansil then produced a championship-clinching block for NUNS.
The Bullpups, however, have to wait another day whether the Bustillos-based school will complete a high school golden double.
Far Eastern University-Diliman outlasted NUNS, 23-25, 25-22, 25-14, 19-25, 15-13, to send the Finals to a winner-take-all on 9 a.m. on Tuesday.
Best Opposite Spiker Amet Bituin’s match-sealing spike allowed the hard-fighting Baby Tamaraws to level the best-of-three series at one game apiece.
Leading the way for the boys’ individual awardees was Most Valuable Player Eugenio Gloria of NUNS.
Fellow Bullpups Herbert Egger was named the Rookie of the Year and First Best Middle Blocker, and Jeffe Gallego Jr., the Best Setter.
Andrei Delicano of FEU-D and Jan Julian Macam of University of the East were named Best Outside Hitters, and Patrick Lardizabal of University of Santo Tomas was the Second Best Middle Blocker.
Completing the list is Best Libero Edriel Alavar of FEU-D.