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Lady Cards cage Lady Red Spikers in five-set thriller, 3-2

Article and photo by: Kristin Clarisse H. Mateo

Bouncing back from their first loss in the Shakey’s Super League 2022, the Mapúa Lady Cardinals outlasted the San Beda University (SBU) Lady Red Spikers in another five-setter, 23-25, 35-33, 25-22, 21-25, 16-14, and claimed their first victory in the pre-season tournament last October 2 at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.
The Lady Cards started out strong in the first set with an 8-3 run after two consecutive service aces from Middle Blocker Babs Babiera and an attack error from the opponent team. However, as the Lady Cards struggled with their floor defenses and unforced errors, the Lady Red Spikers found their momentum, leaving the red-and-gold volleyers to fall short in the first set, 23-25.

Eager to take the lead in the following frame, Open Spiker Sunshine Dalida targeted the weak side of the red and white jerseys, 4-3. As both teams continued their tug of war, pacing the game to clinch the set, Open Spiker Therese Manalo racked up points for the Intramuros-based squad, leading the current frame to an extended play. The Lady Cards refused to back down as Open Spiker Chenie Batac finished off with an attack, stealing the set away from the opponents, 35-33.

Middle Blocker Alyanna Nicole Ong and Batac shone through the third set as they added points on the board, putting themselves back on track. Following an improved reception in the third set, the Lady Cards overtook the opponents once again, 25-22.

Entering the succeeding set, the Lady Cards struggled to defend their side of the court as they started to tail behind with missteps. As the flock looked to regain their rhythm, the Lady Red Spikers charged in the fourth set, forcing a five-setter, 21-25.

While capitalizing on the errors of the Mendiola-based team in the last frame, the Lady Cards set up a strong offensive front with consistent efforts from Team Captain Trixie Mae Gojol and handed the Lady Red Spiders their second straight loss in the pre-season league, 16-14. Dubbed the Queens of Five-Setters in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Season 97, the home team remained undefeated in five-set matches against other NCAA schools.

The Lady Cards improved to a 1-1 win-loss stint after the match while the Lady Red Spikers fell to 0-2.

Ong was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the Match as she powered the team with nine powerful attacks, five successful blocks, and a service ace. Rookies Nadine Angeli Berces and Hannah De Guzman both pitched in a service ace with 12 and 10 attacks, respectively.

Meanwhile, SBU’s Angel Mae Habacon led her team with 19 attacks, followed by Chynna Castillo with 12 attacks and four service aces and Kleinerross Abraham added 12 attacks and a block.

In the league’s post-game interview with MVP Ong, she shared what they did differently to win the game. “Mas naglaro po kami as one, nag-connect po kami with each other. […] This time, may end game kami unlike [sa] last game namin. Dito talaga tinapos namin na gusto naming manalo,” she said, pertaining to their loss to the University of the East Lady Warriors last September 24. The MVP added that the win would inspire them to take the succeeding games with more intensity.

The Mapúa Lady Cardinals will seek to overwhelm another NCAA foe, the University of Perpetual Help DALTA Lady Altas, in their third match on October 15, 2022, Saturday, at 12:30 PM, at the same venue.

The matches are streamed live via Facebook, Youtube, and TikTok with a delayed telecast on IBC13 and Solar Sports. Tickets can be purchased through or at the entrance of the venue. 

The Scores 
MU – Batac 22, Manalo 20, Gojol 18, Ong 15, De Guzman 14, Berces 10, Babiera 6, Macatangay 5, Espiritu 4, Dalida 3, Vergino 2, Esteban 1
SBU – Censon 17, Abraham 17, Tayag M.L. 15, Habacon 15, Paras 11, Castillo 11, Molina 11, Tayag M.J. 8, Binondo 5, Salangsang 4, Arizapa 3, Casugod 2
Set Scores: 23-25, 35-33, 25-22, 21-25, 16-14
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