ARELLANO University kicked off its ‘four-peat’ quest with a rousing 27-25, 25-20, 25-20 sweep on Lyceum in the NCAA Season 95 women’s volleyball opener on Friday at the Arena in San Juan City.
The Lady Chiefs leaned on Regine Arocha’s lethal attacks and the big blocks from Carla Donato to dispatch the Lady Pirates in one hour and 28 minutes.
Two-time Finals MVP Arocha delivered 18 points on a 50-percent attack rate, including nine excellent receptions and eight digs, while Donato provided seven of the eight team blocks for 12 points.
“Pinilit lang namin gawin yung dapat para sa school pero sa ngayon kung eevaluate ko malayo pa kami sa laro na hinahanap namin. Darating din kami don,” said Arellano head coach Obet Javier, who is in the hunt for the school’s fifth overall title in six years.
Last season’s MVP Necole Ebuen only had three points in limited action as she is still recovering from a surgery on her ovary late last year.
The Lady Chiefs averted a slow start and needed to erase an 18-21 deficit in the first set before Arocha delivered the clutch hits to draw the first blood and dominate the last two sets.
“Nagulat ako kasi sa practice hindi ganun inensayo namin, first game jitters nga buti nga na-overcome ng mga bata yung pressure,” Javier said.
Alexandra Rafael lifted the Lady Pirates with 12 points, while MJ Onofre and Joan Doguna had nine markers each in a losing effort.
In the men’s division, Arellano also jumpstarted its campaign on a high note with a 25-22, 25-14, 25-22 victory over Lyceum.
Jesrael Liberato powered the Chiefs with 15 points off 10 attacks, three blocks, and two aces. Jethro Cabillan and Christian Segovia contributed 10 points each. Kim Vincent Tan added eight points, 13 excellent receptions and six digs, while Christian Dela Paz added eight.
“‘Medyo senior ‘yung team namin kaya mataas ‘yung goal namin na makabalik sa finals for this season,” said Arellano head coach Sherwin Meneses. “So siyempre pagtatrabahuhan namin at maka-finals, makapag-champion ngayon.”
Juvic Colonia was the lone double-digit scorer for Lyceum in its campaign-opener loss.