ARELLANO bucked an early deficit and then leaned on the solid setting of Mary Jane Ticar to stun top-seeded Emilio Aguinaldo College, 14-25, 25-12, 25-20, 25-16, on Friday and jumpstart its semifinal campaign in the NCAA women’s volleyball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.
After giving up the first set, the fourth-seeded Lady Chiefs quickly turned the game around in the next canto where they started with a 16-to-7 salvo, capped by a block from Menchie Tubiera, to win their first game in the single-round Final Four.
While Tubiera finished on top of the scoring column by firing a game-high 12 markers, including 10 kills, and one service ace and block apiece, it was setter Ticar who shone brightest for the Legarda-based spikers as she facilitated her team’s offense with aplomb in the final two sets.
“Masyado kaming nag-relax, naging kumpiyansa kami, (pero) inisip namin kaya namin to, kaya namin sila talunin, at dapat magtiwala lang kami sa sarili namin,” Ticar said in a television interview.
The Lady Chiefs, who also drew 11 and 10 points, respectively, from Angelica Legacion and Danna Henson, will be tested anew when they face another powerhouse in second-seed University of Perpetual Help next. The Lady Altas likewise began their semifinal campaign on a bright note following their 25-19, 24-26, 25-23, 26-24 win over San Sebastian in the nightcap.
Arianna Angustia and Arnie Yumul scored 11 points apiece in a losing effort for the Lady Generals, who entered the semifinal round carrying an 8-1 win-loss card.
EAC had the opposite result in the men’s division as the third-seeded Generals toppled their high-ranked opponents in San Beda with a 25-22, 25-21, 25-20 win.
Meanwhile, the two-time defending men's champion Perpetual Altas extended their winning streak to 23 games dating back to last season after cruising past Lyceum, 25-13, 25-12, 25-17, in their Final Four matchup.