Import Kate Morrell unleashed a 24-hit game as BaliPure rolled to its third straight victory, overpowering a young University of the Philippines side, 25-13, 25-23, 25-17, to bolster its semifinal drive in the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Reinforced Conference at the Philsports Arena in Pasig on Saturday.
Morrell, the 6-0, 25-year-old power-hitter from Alabama, imposed her will on the net and unloaded 19 attack points, powering the Purest Water Defenders to the 65-minute romp, their third straight-set win in row after a four-set defeat to the UST Tigresses.
Amy Ahomiro came away with nine hits, setter Kay Manns and Sue Roces chipped in seven points apiece and Dzi Gervacio added five markers for BaliPure, which outplayed UP in spikes (42-25), blocks (7-2) and service (8-2).
“We’re really working hard together and it has been great,” said Morrell, who spiked her impressive outing with three blocks and two aces.
With a 3-1 slate, BaliPure moved to joint second with Customs, which is playing Pocari (2-1) at presstime with the Water Defenders hoping to hurdle their last three assignments for a berth in the semifinal round of the season-ending conference of the league sponsored by Shakey’s.
“We’re finally gelling because we’re making an effort to bond not only on the court but also outside of it,” said BaliPure assistant coach Charo Soriano.
The Lady Marooons, third placers in the last Collegiate Conference of the league backed by Mikasa as official ball and Accel as official outfitter, dropped to 2-4 and virtually bowed out of the Final Four race.
UP, behind Diana Carlos, Nicole Tiamzon, Kathy Bersola, Isa Molde, Marian Buitre, setter Rose Cailing and liberos Princess Gaiser and Arielle Estranero, came out strong in the second set but wavered in the face of BaliPure’s strong fightback midway through before bouncing back to force the Water Defenders into a down-to-the-wire finish.
But miscues and mishits marred the Lady Maroons’ endgame stand and the Water Defenders converting them into points to go 2-0.
It was more of the same in the third with UP seizing the early initiative and BaliPure mounting a strong comeback, using their power and solid blocking to finish off its young rival.
Carlos finished with nine points, Tiamzon added six hits, Bersola and Molde had five markers each and Buitre ended up with four points.
Earlier, Champion Supra made short work of a slumping Army side, 25-13, 25-16, 25-22, to stay in the semifinal hunt in the Spikers’ Turf Season 2 Third Conference, also at the Philsports Arena.
Arjay Onia, Berlin Paglinawan and Joven Camagnanakan provided the firepower while the rest, including libero Juvie Mangaring, backed them up with a gritty defense to overpower the erratic Troopers and post their second win against the same number of losses.
Army fell to 1-2.
12:30 p.m. – Cignal vs Army
4 p.m. – Laoag vs Pocari
6 p.m. – Air Force vs UP