WITH graduating standout Regine Arocha sitting out the match due to fatigue, defending three-time champion Arellano University needed someone who will carry the cudgels yesterday.
No problem. The rest of the Lady Chiefs were all too willing to step up.Arellano whipped also-ran Emilio Aguinaldo College 25-15, 25-14, 25-20 to boost its hold of solo second and clinch at least a playoff for a twice-to-beat advantage in the 95th NCAA women’s volleyball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.
Middle blocker Carla Donato shone for the Lady Chiefs with 12 points on 11 attacks, while reigning MVP Necole Ebuen wound up with 11 markers.
Reserve Nicole Sasuman and Princess Bello added seven and six hits, respectively, while setter and skipper Sarah Verutiao had 18 excellent sets for Arellano, which hiked its record to 7-1.
The Lady Generals finished their campaign with a 1-8 card.
Meanwhile, the NCAA Management Committee suspended indefinitely the men’s and women’s games beginning today due to the deadly coronavirus.
“NCAA is temporarily suspending the games for Senior Division starting 14 February 2020 as a precautionary measure on the COVID 2019. While we are mindful of the importance of holding the games, the health of the students is our top priority,” the league said in a statement signed by Peter Cayco, chair of the Management Committee.
The juniors’ matches were already postponed last Feb. 7.
In the other match, also-ran Letran pulled off a 25-22, 25-20, 18-25, 16-25, 17-15 stunner over Perpetual Help for its fourth victory.
Sophomore spiker Chamberlaine Cunada led the Lady Knights with 19 points off 18 spikes, while Daisy Melendres contributed 16 markers that she laced with three blocks.
Julienne Castro added 12 points, while team captain Charm Simborio and libero Julia Angeles had 18 excellent sets and 35 digs, respectively as Letran improved to 4-4.
With the defeat, the Lady Altas ended the elimination round with a 6-3 record and dropped as the No. 4 squad in the Final Four.
Arellano coach Obet Javier lauded his belles’ grit in the third set.
“Actually, bago mag-third set ni-remind ko iyong team na third set na ito baka kasi iyong sakit na naman (meltdown) ay lumabas, iyon talaga ang sakit ng Arellano,” said Javier.
“So, buti na lang kahit paano naka-recover kami sa ganoon pressure at naging maganda iyong resulta,” he added.