University of Santo Tomas took the best dished out by last year’s best National U and proved this time it’s better, carving out a 28-26, 25-22, 25-19 victory to capture the National Capital Region leg crown in the 14th Shakey’s Girls’ Volleyball League at the St. Marie Eugenie Sports Complex in Antipolo last weekend.
The UST girls, with Ejiya Laure and Imee Hernandez on the firing and blocking end, pulled through in a thrilling opening set duel then fended off every Lady Bulldog fightback in the next two frames to complete the straight-set win in the NCR stop of the annual tournament sponsored by Shakey’s and organized by Metro Sports headed by Freddie Infante.
UST, which topped Pool B in the elims and dominated Pool C topnotcher King’s Montessori School in the semis, 25-21, 25-18, thus joined Southern Luzon leg winner De La Salle-Lipa in the national finals of the event sponsored by Shakey’s, Mikasa and Asics.
Laure went on to capture the MVP plum along with the best opposite attacker award while Hernandez took the first best middle blocker honors. Other awardees were NU’s Nicole Magsarile (second best middle blocker), Faith Nisperos, also of NU, (first best outside attacker), KMS’s Elka dela Torre (second best outside attacker), Louie Romero, also of KMS, (best setter) and KMS’s Mariel Lansang (best libero).
KMS took third place honors, outclassing University of the East, 25-13, 25-6.
UST swept St. Dominic Savio College, 25-19, 25-12, Augustinian Abbey School, 25-15, 25-10, and MGC New Life Christian Academy, 25-11, 25-11, then outlasted Far Eastern U, 25-11, 23-25, 25-21, to sweep Pool B elims.
NU, on the other hand, clobbered Escuela de Sophia of Caloocan, Inc., 25-9, 25-12, Holy Infant Montessori Center, 25-6, 25-12, LH Montessori High, Inc., 25-5, 25-5, and Grace Christian College, 25-6, 25-12, before surviving Pool D top team UE in the semis, 20-25, 25-21, 25-13.