ARELLANO topped Jose Rizal University, 19-25, 25-20, 27-25, 25-17 to make it to the NCAA Season 97 women's volleyball Finals for the fourth straight season Sunday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
NCAA women's volleyball news
The Lady Bombers simply ran out of gas in the fourth set as the Lady Chiefs raced to a 24-12 advantage en route to the victory.
Up next for four-peat seeking Arellano is unbeaten St. Benilde in the best-of-three championship series starting Wednesday.
The Lady Blazers jumped straight to the Finals after completing a nine-match sweep of the eliminations, including a 25-15, 25-15, 25-14 romp of the Lady Chiefs last July 19.
"Magandang challenge ito para sa amin," said Arellano coach Obet Javier.
Pau de Guzman had 19 points, including three service aces, Trina Abay had three blocks for a 14-point outing, while Carla Donato also came through with three blocks to finish with 13 points for the Lady Chiefs.
Arellano also got huge games from Nicole Sasuman, who chipped in 12 points, and Charmina Diño, who fired two aces for a 11-point effort and collected 16 digs.
Representing the new breed of Lady Chiefs to fill the void left by Regine Arocha, Nicole Ebuen and Andrea Marzan, the young crew led by De Guzman is looking forward to play in the league's biggest stage.
"Basta kung anong kaya nina ate Regine, noong lahat ng seniors namin, alam kong kaya din namin iyon," said second-year open spiker De Guzman.
JRU took a 25-24 lead after a successful block touch challenge late in the third set but could not get the job done as Abay scored a quick kill and Sasuman nailed a service ace for Arellano to reach set point, 26-25.
The Lady Bombers committed a double contact violation on the next rally to for a 2-1 Lady Chiefs set lead.
By reaching the top three in a stacked field, JRU achieved its best finish in program history, surpassing the fourth place the Lady Bombers achieved in 2018 led by league MVP Shola Alvarez.
The Lady Bombers still gave a good send-off to graduating standouts Dolly Verzosa and Kia Melgar.
"I'm very happy na umabot ng third ang JRU," said coach Mia Tioseco. "I'm very happy na nakatatak kay Dolly and Kia ang third place."
Sydney Niegos led the Lady Bombers with 15 points, including two service aces, while Riza Rose had three blocks and three aces for a nine-point outing.
In their final game for JRU, Verzosa had 10 points and 21 digs while Melgar scored nine points. including three blocks.
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