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Lady Cards drop first loss on Lady Bombers, 3-0

Article by: Robert Kobe T. Garcia and Kristin Clarisse H. Mateo
Graphics by: Cassius Klai C. Francisco and Kristin Clarisse H. Mateo

Clinching their second straight win in the elimination round of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Season 97, the Mapúa Lady Cardinals swept the Jose Rizal University (JRU) Lady Bombers off in three straight sets, 25-14, 25-23, 25-17, last June 19, at the Paco Arena.

The Lady Cards opened the game with a point ahead of the Lady Bombers, followed by an aggressive back-and-forth rally sequence. Aiming to end the exchange, the red and gold team tightened their defensive and offensive strategy to build an 11-0 run, with Team Captain Jonina Fernandez and Middle Blocker Alyanna Nicole Ong leading the charge. Ong’s spin-offs sought to pull down the Lady Bombers, and Cardinal Setter Trixie Gojol’s excellent sets powered the Lady Cards to cruise to a double-digit lead for the Intramuros-based spikers, 25-14.

A thriller game determined the second set with neither team backing down. Fernandez scored back-to-back service aces for the Lady Cards while Ong continued her aggressive efforts in blocking the Lady Bombers’ spikes and attacking the opposite end. Meanwhile, Open Spiker Therese Angeli Manalo seeped through the opponents’ airtight defense using her piercing strikes. Despite a close call, an unforced error by the blue and yellow volleyers handed the second set win to the Cardinals, 25-23.

With pressure to mark the end of the game and secure their second win of the season in three sets, the home team strived to keep their momentum but trailed behind during the first half of the third set, 10-13. The Lady Cards eventually caught up with the opponent team as Ong slammed two fierce attacks to the other side, closing the gap between the team scores. Capitalizing on the Lady Bombers’ errors, the Intramuros-based squad continued to overwhelm their opponent. The Lady Cards shot an eight-point advantage in the last set after Opposite Spiker Carla Gaudan finished off with an attack, disarming the Lady Bombers, 25-17.

After the match, the Mapúa Lady Cardinals and the JRU Lady Bombers both posted a 2-1 win-loss record as the Lady Cards improved to two wins and handed another team, following the Lady Stags, their first loss this season.

Lady Cards’ Ong emerged as the Best Player of the Game for the second straight game with 11 points, 10 attacks, and one block. Meanwhile, Manalo and Gaudan chipped in 11 points and 10 attacks; and nine points, respectively.

As for the Lady Bombers, Sydney Mae Niegos and Dolly Grace Verzosa both led their team with seven points apiece. Riza Rose added five points during the match.

The Lady Cardinals will attempt to take control of the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Lady Altas tomorrow, June 24, at 12 NN, in the same venue. The game will be aired live on GTV and on the social media pages of NCAA Philippines and GMA Sports PH.

The Scores:
MU – Ong 11, Manalo 11, Gaudan 9, Fernandez 7, Babiera 6, Gojol 2, Batac 0, Ortega (L) 0, Bolandrina 0, Espiritu 0, Vergino 0, Cruz 0, Dalida 0, Sy (L) 0
JRU – Niegos 7, Verzosa 7, Rose 5, Laurente 4, Melgar 4, Bautista 1, Egera 1, Ruiz 1, Villanueva 1, Alona (L) 0, Ortiz (L) 0, Amante 0
Set Scores: 25-14, 25-23, 25-17
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