University of Perpetual Help System DALTA showed nerves of steel, pulling off a 22-25, 22-25, 25-22, 25-12, 16-14 stunner over defending champion Arellano University in Season 95 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) women’s volleyball tournament on Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
The Lady Altas displayed solid net defense as they crush the error-plagued Lady Chiefs in a rematch of last year’s finals.
With the victory, Perpetual forged a tie at the second spot with Arellano on similar 5-1 records, boosting its Final Four twice-to-beat bid.
College of Saint Benilde is still leading solo with 5-0.
“Unlike in our previous games, I saw in my players the attitude and willingness to win,” said Perpetual head coach Macky Cariño.
“It’s about time that we get the twice-to-beat advantage. It’s better that we enter the semifinals with a high morale,” added Cariño, whose team achieved an ascent from being a fourth seed to a runner-up last season.
Perpetual came through with 12 blocks behind blocker-turned-setter Jenny Gaviola’s seven swats, including the game-winner, against Arellano’s five. The Lady Altas also got 48 points off the Lady Chiefs’ errors while limiting their own to 30.
Jhona Rosal topscored with 15 points highlighted by 13 spikes but it was Gaviola who shone the brightest with 12 markers anchored on crucial blocks.
Dana Persa and Hannah Suico stepped up with 10 and eight points, respectively, while libero Beatrice Dayao tallied 17 excellent receptions.
Staring at a 0-2 deficit, Perpetual slugged it out in the third set then Gaviola and Scott gave the Lady Altas a strong start coupled with Arellano’s unforced blunders in the fourth set to force a decider.
With the momentum on their side, the Las Piñas-based volleybelles seized an 8-2 lead in the fifth frame but Princess Bello and Carla Donato carried the Arellanites to a 14-14 deadlock.
Arellano’s Donnalyn Paralejas committed a costly service error before Gaviola denied Bello’s attempt to seal the deal.
Two-time Finals MVP Regine Arocha’s 23 points anchored on 22 hits along with Bello’s 16 markers and Donato’s 10 points went to waste as the Legarda-based squad suffered its first defeat.
Reigning season MVP Necole Ebuen was a non-factor for the four-peat seeking Arellano with a measly six points.
In the men’s side, two-time titlist Perpetual pummeled Arellano, 28-26, 23-25, 25-21, 25-19, behind Louie Ramirez and Ronniel Rosales for their sixth straight triumph.
Ramirez erupted with 25 points on 21 hits, three aces and block while Rosales pumped in 19 markers on 15 spikes, three blocks and an ace to power the leading Altas.
Christian Dela Paz had 21 points for the Chiefs, who fell to their second consecutive loss against four wins.
In the juniors division, the Arellano Braves shocked the five-time champ Perpetual Junior Altas, 25-21, 21-25, 25-22, 18-25, 15-10.