DEFENDING champion University of Perpetual Help turned back San Sebastian, 21-25, 25-12, 28-26, 29-27, on Monday night and forced a deciding Game Three in the 88th NCAA women’s volleyball Finals at the Arena in San Juan.
Holding match point at 24-23, the Lady Altas were left stunned when San Sebastian rookie Gretchel Soltones hit three straight points to turn the fourth set around, 26-25.
But Perpetual Help turned garbage into gold as San Sebastian gave away four points from errors, leaving the best-of-three finale tied at 1-1.
“Sabi ko sa kanila ipakita natin ang puso ng champion,” said Perpetual Help coach Jason Sapin.
Ann Clarize Guillermo came away with 21 points, from 15 spikes, two blocks and four service aces, while Sandra delos Santos added 18, Honey Rpyse Tubino chipped in 14, and team captain April Anne Sartin contributed 13 for the Lady Altas.
Perpetual Help dominated the scoring departments, coming up with 11 blocks against six for San Sebastian and serving 11 aces compared to the two of the Lady Stags.
“Nasa isip namin kanina, walang iba, ipapanalo namin ang Game Two,” said reigning MVP delos Santos.
Soltones led the Lady Stags with 24 points, from 22 attacks, one block and one service ace, while Jolina Labiano added 14, from 13 spikes and one service ace.
“Kalimutan na ang ang nagyari ngayon, wala na tayo magagawa dyan may Game Three pa. Hindi pa naman natatapos dito,” said San Sebastian coach Clint Malazo.
Soltones got a measure of consolation when she was named as the best scorer of the season. Tubino was the best spiker, Ces Milona of San Beda the best blocker, Ivy Carlos of College of St. Benilde the best server, Mae Crisostomo of San Sebastian the best digger and best receiver, and Janelle Cheng of CSB as the best setter.
Meanwhile, Emilio Aguinaldo College Immaculate Conception Academy wrapped up a second straight juniors title after besting San Sebastian.