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Lady Cards’ winning streak burned by Lady Blazers, 0-3

Article by: Maurine Claire F. Kim and Crismhil S. Anselmo
Graphics by: Cassius Klai C. Francisco and Kristin Clarisse H. Mateo

The Mapúa Lady Cardinals ended their three-game winning streak after marking their second defeat in a matchup with the undefeated top seed De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (CSB) Lady Blazers, 17-25, 11-25, 12-25, in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Season 97 Women’s Volleyball Tournament elimination round, last June 28, at the Paco Arena.

While the opening frame started out rough for the Lady Cardinals following a 0-4 run, the team slowly attempted to find the right tempo after a good receive, leading Opposite Hitter Carla Jean Gaudan to earn Mapúa’s first notch with a wipe. Open Spiker Chenie Batac and Right-wing Spiker Raina Vergino were subbed in late in the set as Batac performed a much-needed service ace and Vergino narrowed the deficit. This prompted a 5-1 run as Middle Blocker Princess Babiera spiked the ball past the opponents’ blockers. However, the Cards had just begun to adjust their gameplay when the Lady Blazers reached set point, 17-25.

Eager to recover, the Lady Cards attempted to keep up with the rhythm of the Lady Blazers come the second set. Queen Cardinal Jonina Fernandez made a conscious effort to help floor coverage with Libero Wellamae Ortega. Together, both defensive specialists contributed 24 excellent digs out of the team’s total of 38. Though the Mapúa volleyers shifted their attention to solidifying their defense, the Taft-based squad limited the offense of the Lady Cardinals to just two throughout the set, ending the second frame with 11-25, in favor of the green and white jerseys.

The red and yellow jerseys lagged in points until the third set of the game. With their winning streak on the line, Babiera forced another power attack while Open Spiker Therese Angeli Manalo infiltrated the other side’s base. Despite this, they fell short in getting a continuous run. Missed opportunities came one after another as attack and service errors continued to plague the Muralla-based team. The match ended with a 13-point disadvantage, 12-25, constituting a 0-3 sweep for the green jerseys.

In total, the Lady Cardinals set up 19 attacks, one block, 38 digs and two aces, but handed out 24 opponent errors.

Lady Cardinal Manalo led the team with seven points, while Vergino and Gaudan chipped in five and four points, respectively.

Meanwhile, Lady Blazers Jade Gentapa and Francis Mycah Go emerged with 12 points apiece, while Jhasmin Gayle Pascual put up nine points.

With this defeat, the Lady Cards’ three-game win streak was broken, showing a 3-2 win-loss record, tied with the Lyceum of the Philippines Lady Pirates.

The Mapúa Lady Cardinals are set to duel with the San Beda University Lady Red Spikers tomorrow, July 1, at 2:30 PM, in the same arena. The succeeding games will still air live on GTV, along with live streams on the official social media platforms of NCAA Philippines and GMA Sports PH.

The Scores:
MU –Manalo 7, Vergino 5, Gaudan 4, Fernandez 2, Babiera 2, Ong 1, Batac 1, Ortega (L), Sy (L), Espiritu 0, Gojol 0, Bolandrina 0, Cruz 0, Dalida 0
CSB – Gentapa 12, Go 12, Pascual 9, Mondoñedo 6, Gamit 5, Ondangan 5, Apostol 1, Estenzo (L), Mondejar (L), Avilla 0, Basarte 0, Dizon 0, Salmon 0

Set Scores: 17-25, 11-25, 12-25
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