Majoy Baron named UAAP Season 79 MVP, two other Lady Spikers bag individual awards
Majoy Baron was named MVP for UAAP Season 79. Jaime Campos

LA Salle middle blocker Majoy Baron was named as the MVP of the UAAP Season 79 women’s volleyball tournament.

The fourth year middle blocker, whose squad is on the verge of claiming its back-to-back championship, will formally receive her award before Game Two against bitter rival Ateneo in the best-of-three Finals series on Saturday.

The Tarlac native was the first La Salle player to win the top honor since Aby Marano and Ara Galang shared the award in Season 75.

At the end of the double round eliminations, Baron finished 10th in the scoring department with an average of 10.7 points.

Baron eclipsed early leader Jaja Santiago, who was on top of the MVP race at the end of the first round. But the Santiago-led National University failed to make it to the Final Four.

Santiago, however, bagged the Best Scorer, Best Spiker and Best Blocker awards.

The 6-foot-5 do-it-all spiker was the runaway winner in scoring with a total of 268 (19.14 points per game) coming off 195 spikes, 49 kill blocks and 24 service aces.

Santiago’s closest rival Bernadeth Pons of Far Eastern University had 211, EJ Laure of University of Santo Tomas had a total of 192 points, one point ahead of her teammate Sisi Rondina, followed by Diana Carlos of University of the Philippines with 190, Michelle Morente of Ateneo with 172, Kim Dy of De La Salle with 159, Toni Basas of FEU (158), Shaya Adorador of University of the East (152) and Baron with 147.

The NU team captain was the most efficient attacker with a 42.58% success rate out of 458 attempts followed by Ateneo’s Michelle Morente (41.53%), Baron (38.03%), Ateneo’s Jhoana Maraguinot (36.71%), La Salle’s Kim Dy (36.56%), Rondina (35.00%), Pons (34.75%), Laure (34.54%), Kat Tolentino of Ateneo (33.76%) and Carlos (32.85%).

Rounding up her awards, Santiago imposed her might at the net with an average of 0.89 kill blocks per set and bested last year’s Best Blocker Baron and Season 76 winner Ria Meneses of UST, who averaged 0.74 and 0.56 kill blocks per set, respectively, followed by FEU’s Remy Palma (0.55), teammates Dy (0.46) and Aduke Ogunsanya (0.46), Ateneo’s Bea De Leon (0.45), UE’s Jasmine Alcayde (0.45), Kathy Bersola of UP (0.40) and Risa Sato of NU (0.35).

Graduating La Salle playmaker Kim Fajardo pocketed her second consecutive Best Setter award and third overall in her five-year collegiate career and topped in the Best Server category.

Fajardo registered an average of 11.28 excellent sets per frame and the best scorer from the service line with an average of 0.76 aces per set.

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The La Salle setter bested her Ateneo counterpart Jia Morado in both areas. 

Morado averaged 11.04 excellent sets per frame behind Fajardo followed by UP’s Ayel Estranero (9.71), Jasmine Nabor of NU (9.00), Chumcee Caole of Adamson (6.84), UE’s Roselle Baliton (6.02), Angelica Cayuna of FEU (5.98), UST’s Alina Bicar (5.28) and Alex Cabanos (5.16) and Kyle Negrito of FEU (4.71).

Morado had 0.67 aces per set followed by UP sophomore Isa Molde (0.54), Morente (0.53), Estranero (0.48), Adorador (0.45), Santiago, Jorelle Singh of NU (0.42) and FEU’s Heather Guino-o (0.41).

La Salle libero Dawn Macandili bagged the Best Receiver award, while UE libero Kath Arado pocketed the Best Digger honor.

Macandili earned the award with 50.71% efficiency rating ahead of teammate Desiree Cheng (43.72%), Arado (41.96%), Pons (41.42%), Molde (35.71%), Gizelle Tan of Ateneo (33.78%), Adamson’s Jema Galanza (33.51%), Morente (30.93%), Gayle Valdez of NU (30.00%) and UP’s Justine Dorog (27.27%).

Arado registered an average of 6.60 per set to win home the award ahead of Macandili (6.09) coming in at third was FEU’s Ria Duremdes (4.75), followed by Tan (3.61), Laure (3.54), Galanza (3.48), Molde (3.35), Pons (3.27), Dorog (3.04) and Adamson’s Tonnie Rose Ponce (2.93).

Jules Samonte of Ateneo took the Rookie of the Year honors.

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