The Nazareth School of National University (NSNU) Lady Bullpups clinched their third consecutive crown by beating the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Junior Golden Tigresses in Game 3 of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 79 girls’ volleyball finals at the Adamson University Gymnasium in San Marcelino, Manila on Wednesday.
The Lady Bullpups broke away from the 18-all deadlock after Faith Janine Shirley Nisperos scored from her attack and Princess Anne Robles from her service ace, 20-18.
With the Junior Tigresses committing a reception error and a net touch violation, NU’s Nisperos and Thea Allison Gagate denied Ejiya Laure’s attack, 24-20. Nisperos closed the set with another kill, 25-22.
In the second quarter, both teams went on a nip-and-tuck battle. But the Lady Bullpups ignited a 2-0 run from the attacks of Mhicaela Belen and Robles, 16-14.
Service errors plagued the gold-and-white volleybelles as Genesa Jane Eslapor sent the ball out during her service, handing the second set to NU, 25-23.
The Junior Golden Tigresses held an eight-point cushion after Martha Andre Raagas sent over a drop ball, 10-18.
After NU committed a lifting violation, Laure and Raagas completed a 2-0 blitz to snatch the third set for UST, 15-25.
To open the fourth set, the Junior Golden Tigresses tallied four consecutive attacks from Eslapor and Laure, 1-6.
Lady Bullpup Erin Pangilinan tied the ball game at 13-all as she hit a quick attack, which was followed by a four-touch violation from the UST’s side.
Merry Rose Jauculan sent an off-the-block attack to keep NU at bay, 19-17. Nisperos then responded with another kill, 20-17.
The blue-and-gold volleybelles made a 3-0 run from Gagate’s quick hit, Nisperos’ service ace, and Gagate and Belen’s block on Laure’s attack, 24-19. Eslapor again sent the ball out during her service, bowing down to the Lady Bullpups, 25-20.
Robles received the Most Valuable Player (MVP) honor in the finals series.
“This is one great story. In Game 2, my setter (Joyme Cagande) got injured. She’s the best setter in the league. Her shoulder got dislocated in the third set of the second game. It swelled that night, and yesterday, she had a fever. So I decided not to play with our best setter. Amazing, our second setter (Camilla Lamina) has led the team. If you can recall earlier, it was our second setter when we won our first two sets. And then on the third set, she was losing her composure, she’s only 13. My first setter then told me, ‘Coach, I can play.’ She played with a broken right shoulder. This is the most amazing year when we got the championship. I think what it tells us is we are really a team,” said NSNU head coach Raymund Castillo.
In Game 3 of the boys’ finals, the NSNU Bullpups defended their title against the UST Junior Tiger Spikers in straight sets, 25-15, 25-18, 25-19.