Arellano leaves JRU to face CSB in the final
Defending champion Arellano University (AU) eliminated Jose Rizal University (JRU), 19-25, 25-20, 27-25, 25-17, in the final stage of the semi-finals of the ladder to qualify for the finals of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Women’s Volleyball Tournament of the ’97 Season at the Filoil Flying V Center on Sunday.
With the victory over the fourth-seeded Lady Bombers, the second-seeded and four-round-seeking Lady Chiefs staged a series of best-of-3 finals against undefeated De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) Lady Blazers.
“For us it’s a good chance, we will prepare for Benilde. We also had some breaks in the game here (against JRU),” said Arellano head coach Obet Javier, who led the Lady Chiefs to their fourth straight final.
“We don’t want to go home yet,” said top scorer Pauline De Gumzan, who unleashed 19 points from 14 attacks and three service aces.
Trina Abay, Carlo Donato, Nicole Sasuman and Charmina Dino had 14, 13, 12 and 11 points respectively, while Cherry Cuenca took care of the ground defense with 21 digs and 13 excellent receptions.
Arellano had to come back from a 0-1 deficit as JRU, fresh off back-to-back wins, blasted out the gates. The Lady Chiefs returned the favor in the second set before outlasting the Lady Bombers in the third.
Riding the wave of momentum, Arellano took a 17-9 lead in the fourth set after a kill by Sasuman and eventually went to match point, 24-12, on an attacking error by Dolly Verzosa.
Still determined, the Lady Bombers saved five match points after the Lady Chiefs attacking error before Lorraine Pecana finished the game with a quick attack.
JRU skipper and graduate player Dolly Verzosa recorded 10 points and 21 digs to beat the Lady Bombers, as Sydney Niegos had 15 and Riza Rose had 11. Marianne Alona had 28 digs and 19 excellent receptions.