Lady Chiefs escape Lady Stags in NCAA volley

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Arellano University went through the eye of a needle before escaping with a thrilling 18-25, 25-16, 25-11, 26-28, 15-13 over San Sebastian College to move one step closer to claiming the women’s crown in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Season 92 volleyball tournament on Friday at The Arena in San Juan City.

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Playmaker Rhea Ramirez delivered 81 excellent sets to tow the Lady Chiefs to a 2-0 lead against the thrice-to-beat Lady Stags. Arellano won in Game 1 via a 25-18, 25-20, 25-16 sweep of San Sebastian.

The Game 3 will be played on Tuesday at the same venue with the Lady Chiefs hoping to reclaim the title they first won in Season 90.

Soltones earlier bagged her third straight Most Valuable Player award. She also got the First Best Outside Spiker trophy while Francesca Racraquin of San Beda College took the Rookie of the Year honors.

The other awardees were University of Perpetual Help System Dalta’s Lourdes Clemente (First Best Middle Blocker) and Coleen Bravo (Second Best Middle Blocker); San Sebastian’s Vira Guillema (Best Setter) and Alyssa Eroa (Best Libero); Arellano’s Jovielyn Prado (Second Best Outside Spiker); and Jose Rizal university’s Karen Joy Montojo (Best Opposite Spiker).

In juniors, Perpetual Help rallied past Lyceum of the Philippine University, 25-16, 23-25, 19-25, 25-18, 15-10, to move one win away of claiming its third-straight title.

Ivan Encila topscored for the Junior Altas with 20 points while Paul Solamin added 19 points and Marvien Castillo chipped in 17 points.

Perpetual Help now holds a 2-0 series lead against thrice-to-beat Lyceum. The Junior Altas won in Game 1, 25-21, 25-18, 25-22.

“We knew they’re going to bounce back strong and I’m happy we were able to handle it and adjusted well,” said Perpetual Help coach Sandy Rieta.

EMIL C. NOGUERA

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