• AU eyes NCAA volley finals berth

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    Defending champion Arellano University will be gunning for finals slot when it battles College of Saint Benilde in the second stage of the stepladder semifinals in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Season 91 women’s volleyball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.

    Lady Chiefs take on the Lady Blazers at 4 p.m. with the former holding a twice-to-beat advantage after finishing second in the elimination round.

    Benilde is coming off a 16-25, 25-19, 25-11, 25-21 over University of Perpetual Help System Dalta in the first stage of the stepladder.

    Powerhitting Janine Navarro and Rayna Musa, who scored 15 each in their last game, are expected to lead the Lady Blazers’ front line along with middle blocker Jeanette Panaga and Chelsea Santilla.

    Veteran playmaker Djanel Welch Cheng will also play vital role as well as libero Melanie Torres.

    Arellano, on the other hand, is just a win away of earning a return trip to the finals.

    In their last meeting, the Lady Chiefs needed five sets to stop the Lady Blazers, 25-20, 22-25, 28-30, 25-18, 19-17.

    The troika of Jevielyn Grace Prado, Danna Henson and Shirley Salamagos will be the main core of Arellano’s offense but veterans Christine Joy Rosario and Rialen Sante are also expected to contribute.

    The winner between the Lady Chiefs and Lady Blazers will advance to the finals against San Sebastian College.

    The Lady Stags earned an automatic spot by virtue of a nine-game sweep in the elimination round. They will hold a thrice-to-beat advantage in the finals.

    In the men’s division, Perpetual Help, a twice-to-beat holder, also guns for the finals berth when it faces Benilde at 2 p.m.

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