NCAA volleyball: Arellano back in finals after ousting JRU

Arellano Lady Chiefs celebrates her return to the final round of the NCAA volleyball tournament.

Arellano Lady Chiefs celebrates her return to the final round of the NCAA volleyball tournament. NCAA / GMA PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — The University of Arellano led Jose Rizal U, 19-25, 25-20, 27-25, 25-17 to reach the NCAA Women’s Volleyball Finals for a fourth consecutive season on Sunday at Filoil Flying V Center.

The Lady Bombers simply ran out of gas in the fourth set, as the Lady Chiefs raced with a 24-12 advantage and never looked back.

Next up for the Arellano-seeking peat team is the College of Saint Benilde unbeaten in the best-of-stakes series starting Wednesday.

Lady Blazers went straight to the Finals after completing nine elimination matches, including Lady Chief’s 25-15, 25-15, 25-14 on July 19 of last year.

“This is a good challenge for us,” Arellano coach Obet Javier said in Filipino.

Pau de Guzman has 19 points, including three serves, Trina Abay has three saves with 14 points, while Carla Donato has also gone three times to finish with 13 points for Lady Chiefs.

Arellano also got big games from Nicole Sasuman, who scored 12 points, and Charmina Diño, who shot two aces with an 11-point effort and collected 16 digs.

Representing the new generation of Lady Chiefs to fill the void left by Regine Arocha, Nicole Ebuen and Andrea Marzan, the youth team led by De Guzman is eager to play on the biggest stage of the tournament.

“Whatever our seniors led by Ate Regine have achieved, I know we can do it,” said second-year De Guzman.

JRU took a 25-24 lead after a successful interception challenge late in the third set but couldn’t get the job done as Abay scored a quick goal and Sasuman nailed a serve to Arellano to reach the set point, 26-25.

The Lady Bombers breached two exposures in the ensuing rally to give the Lady Chiefs a 2-1 lead.

By finishing in the top three in a stacked field, JRU achieved the best run in show history, surpassing the fourth place achieved by Lady Bombers in 2018 due to MVP of the Shola Alvarez tournament.

The Lady Bombers still have a good welcome with graduate standouts Dolly Verzosa and Kia Melgar.

“I am very happy that JRU reached third place,” said coach Mia Tioseco. “I’m glad Dolly and Kia were able to achieve that.”

Sydney Niegos leads the Lady Bombers with 15 points, including two aces, while Riza Rose has three blocks and three aces for a nine-point opening.

In their last game for the JRU, Verzosa had 10 points and 21 digs while Melgar scored nine. consists of three blocks.

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