SAN Beda handed defending champion Arellano University its first loss in the season, denying the Lady Chiefs an outright Finals berth with a 25-16, 17-25, 25-19, 18-25 16-14 win yesterday in the NCAA women’s volleyball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
After playing catch up, the Lady Chiefs reached match point courtesy of Necole Ebuen’s kill, but the never-say-die Lady Red Spikers scored the game’s last three points capped by a Nieza Viray’s off-the-block hit to prevail in the rematch of last year’s championship series.
Despite the win that forced a three-way tie at 8-1, San Beda settled for the No. 3 ranking and will face twice-to-beat Arellano in the Final Four on Tuesday.
With the result, College of Saint Benilde became the No. 1 team in the Final Four and claimed the twice-to-beat bonus against the winner of tomorrow’s do-or-die match between University of Perpetual Help System Dalta and Jose Rizal University.
Coach Mesio Gavino emphasized the importance of the victory for the Red Spikers.
“Malaki sa amin kasi nakaka-boost ito ng morale para sa mga bata. Kasi nakikita namin yung pinaghihirapan namin,” said Gavino.
Nieza Viray had a solid outing for San Beda with 17 points and 19 digs while Cesca Racraquin chipped in 16 points, including two blocks and two service aces, 15 digs and 10 receptions.
The Lady Red Spikers were simply torn since they are assured of third spot in the semifinals, but Racraquin knows that they have something to prove against the Lady Chiefs.