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Lady Cards falter against Lady Chiefs, 0-3

Article by: Lea Ysabel Q. Evangelista and Alexandra Isabelle G. Delavin
Graphics by: Cassius Klai C. Francisco and Kristin Clarisse H. Mateo

The Mapúa Lady Cardinals marked their first loss after struggling to secure a set against defending champions Arellano University Lady Chiefs, 14-25, 12-25, 21-25, in the opening weekend of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Season 97 Women’s Volleyball Tournament, last June 11, at the Paco Arena.

Lady Cardinal Open Spiker Therese Angeli Manalo kickstarted the team’s rally with swift execution of a spike against the Sampaloc-based squad, while Mapúa Middle Blocker Jolina Princess Babiera fired in another attack, taking the opponents by surprise, and breaching their defense. Trailing behind by as much as 11 points, Middle Blocker Alyanna Nicole Ong poised her team to get back on track and cut the deficit down as she disrupted Arellano’s momentum by denying their attack. While the red and gold squad attempted to inch closer, the first set ruled against their favor, 14-25.

Entering the second set, Open Spiker Chenie Batac’s service ace helped the team sustain the gap in the first few minutes of the game. However, the Lady Cards continued to struggle, forcing the team to redirect their focus on the offensive side. With combined efforts, the team set the court up as Babiera found an open spot to attack, catching the Lady Chiefs off-guard. Despite the team’s attempt to catch on, they succumbed to a 13-point disadvantage, 12-25.

In a change of pace, the Lady Cardinals began the third set with determination to extend the match. After a point of service from Manalo, the red and gold squad were fired up as they maintained a close game with their opponent. This continued up until Ong’s equalizing hit. After a wavering moment for her team, Batac pulled through with an attack that went passed the opponent’s blockers. Despite catching up to a two-point deficit, the Lady Cards failed to close the gap as the Lady Chiefs took the win, 21-25.

The Lady Cardinals were able to get in 19 attacks, five blocks, 32 digs, and five service aces in this match but gave 32 opponent errors to the Lady Chiefs. This resulted in a 0-1 win-loss record for the Mapúa volleyers.

Rookie Ong racked up the most points for the team with seven points while Batac, Barbiena, and Raina Airyl Vergino each scored four points.

Meanwhile, Lady Chief Nicole Victoria Sasuman scored 13 points. Her teammates Princess Bello and Carla Amaina Donato each contributed seven and eight points, respectively.

The Lady Cardinals will face their next opponent in the elimination round, the San Sebastian College – Recoletos Lady Stags, tomorrow, June 15, 2:30 PM, in the same venue. All volleyball games will air on GTV with live streaming on the social media platforms of NCAA Philippines and GMA Sports PH.

The Scores:
MU – Ong 7, Batac 4, Babiera 4, Vergino 4, Manalo 3, Gaudan 3, Fernandez 2, Dalida 2, Gojol 0, Espiritu 0, Ortega (L) 0, Sy (L) 0, Bolandrina 0, Cruz 0
AU – Sasuman 13, Donato 8, Bello 7, Abay 4, Manuntag 3, Dino 2, Paralejas 2, Batindaan 1, De Guzman 1, Adante 0, Cuenca (L) 0, Daisog (L) 0, Matawaran 0
Set Scores: 14-25, 12-25, 21-25
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