NATIONAL University battled back from an opening set setback then wore down University of Santo Tomas in a back-and-forth fourth set thriller to hack out a 21-25, 25-22, 25-21, 28-26 victory and capture the Shakey’s Girls’ Volleyball League Season 13 NCR leg at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City last Thursday.
Faith Nisperos provided the firepower, Nicole Magsarile supplied the defensive spunk upfront, and ace setter Joyme Cagande kept the ball in play all throughout as the Lady Bullpups bucked a shaky start and the UST spikers’ gutsy stand in the last three sets to pound out the victory.
NU now advanced to the national finals along with the other winners in the various regional eliminations of the annual event sponsored by Shakey’s and organized by Metro Sports headed by Freddie Infante.
NU and UST swept their respective divisions in the elims to roll into the Final Four along with Kings’ Montessori School, and Adamson University.
The Lady Bullpups beat the Baby Falcons and the España-based school trounced the KMS side in the crossover semis of the tournament backed by Asics, Mikasa, Iloilo Doctors’ College and My Phone.
KMS bested Adamson to snare third place.
The power-hitting Nisperos was later named the first best outside attacker and went on to cop the MVP honors, while Magsarile took the first best middle blocker award and Cagande clinched the best setter plum.
Other awardees were KMS’ Lorienlyn Bernardo (second best middle blocker), Carla Sandoval, also of KMS, (second best outside attacker), UST’s Ejiya Laure (best opposite attacker) and Bernadette Pepito, also of UST, (best libero).