by Ernest Hernandez
Good things come to those who wait.
For the Caloocan Katipuneras, the three-year process of building their program resulted in a championship at the 2019 Metro League Under-17 Girls Volleyball tournament.
Coach Jesper Perez’ squad lifted the title trophy for the first time after defeating the Quezon City Lady Capitals in straight sets at the San Juan Gymnasium Thursday afternoon.
The Lady Katipuneras dominated the opening set of the gold medal match, leading by as much as ten points, 23-13. Juliana Vilar’s net touch violation handed Caloocan set point while Ianne Faith Gonzales’ service ace sealed the frame for the champions, 25-15.
Meanwhile, the Makati Lady Skyscrapers captured bronze by defeating the Taguig Lady Generals in five sets. Taguig won the opening set, 25-21, while Taguig responded to claim the second, 25-20. Ronabel Salang’s service error gave set three to the Lady Generals, 25-15.
In the second match of the day, the Manila All-Stars finished fifth after defeating the Pasay Lady Voyagers in three sets. Last year’s champions owned the first and second sets with identical 25-23 score lines. However, they started the third with a 7-0 blast and never looked back.
Solid San Juan took seventh place by edging the Las Pinas Home Defenders in five sets. This was San Juan’s first victory in the tournament.
Individual awardees were also honored by Commissioner Francis Vicente and Dindin Santiago-Manabat prior to the Taguig-Makati match. Solis was hailed as the 1st Best Outside Spiker while Caloocan’s Katrina del Castillo got the nod as the 1st Best Middle Blocker .
Gonzales is the competition’s Best Opposite Spiker while Salang won her second consecutive Best Setter award. Taguig’s Mar Elisha Bandong is granted Best Libero honors. Cawicaan is named Most Valuable Player of the 2019 Metro League Under-17 Girls Volleyball tournament.