Arellano U came out of a grueling fourth-set setback in fierce form, holding University of the Philippines to just three points to carve out a 22-25, 25-10, 25-19, 32-34, 15-3 decision and clinch the second semifinal berth in Group B of the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference in San Juan on Saturday.
The Lady Chiefs bounced back strong from a tough set loss in the fourth, racking up the first five points in the decider then taking seven of the next nine to virtually finish off the Lady Maroons, who failed to step up after losing ace hitter Justine Dorog to knee injury in the fourth.
The one-hour, 48-minute victory thus sent Arellano to the semis, alongside elims tormentor Adamson, as it finished the single round elims of the season-ending conference of the league organized by Sports Vision with a 4-1 card.
The Lady Falcons secured the first semis seat in Group B with a 4-0 card and will close its elims campaign against the ousted San Beda Red Spikers tomorrow.
It was a sorry setback for the Diliman-based squad, which stayed alive by out-steadying Arellano in a gripping back-and-forth fourth set duel, only to reel back with a poor start in the fifth.
The Lady Maroons closed out its campaign with a 3-2 mark.
Arellano’s victory also proved to be a big welcome for returning coach Ogie Javier, who missed their game against Technological Institute of the Philippines last Sept. 18 to undergo an operation.
“We actually had a good preparation against UP. We made some adjustments after that loss to Adamson,” said Javier, who drew 26 hits from top player Jovielyn Prado, who also produced 17 excellent receptions.
Regine Arocha backed her up with a solid 25-point output, including the semis-clinching dink after a faulty UP reception.
Nicole Ebuen had 15 markers while Andrea Marzan added 10 points for the Lady Chiefs, who clobbered the Lady Maroons in spikes, 73-54, and came away with 11 aces against their rivals six.
Diana Carlos actually outscored Prado with a 29-hit effort but only Isa Molde turned in the only other double-digit output of 20 points as Marian Buitre struggled with seven markers and Dorog finished with five hits.
Earlier, Ateneo primed up for the Final Four with an imposing 25-19, 25-19, 25-15 victory over UAAP rival National U to sweep the elims of the men’s division of the tournament backed by Mikasa and Asics.
The Bulldogs fell to a 3-3 card and must hurdle St. Benilde tomorrow to advance to the semis. A loss would set up a playoff with La Salle, which closed out with a 3-4 slate, for the last Final Four seat.
UST took the second semis berth with a 25-14, 25-10, 22-25, 25-20 victory over St. Benilde in the other game as the Tigers pooled a 4-3 mark to join the Eagles and the Far Eastern U Tams.