NATIONAL University completed a five-game elimination round sweep to secure a semis spot in the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference after defeating Ateneo, 25-21, 13-25, 25-19, 25-23, on Saturday at The Arena in San Juan.
Jorelle Singh finished with 17 points for NU, while skipper Jaja Santiago added 12. Risa Sato chipped in 11 and Audrey Paran contributed 10.
NU coach Babes Castillo was pleased with the win but is looking at how the team will improve in the next phase.
“Sa amin importante kasi ito, because we’re discovering how are we gonna work together, dini-discover din ng ladies and sistemang ini-introduce,” he said.
“Syempre, a win is a win, maganda ‘yan na booster sa spirit nila. 'Yun lang ang sa akin, we can take that and carry it on sa mga susunod na laro,” he added.
Castillo also stressed that sweeping the elimination round was not in their plan, but a bonus in the Lady Bulldogs pursuit of improvement.
“Ako, personally, we don’t aim for a sweep, we don’t give meaning to it,” he said. “We try to avoid it (sweep), we try to not look at the sweep side noon.”
“That’s why we count every set, we count every point ratio nila para makita nila ang performance nila not the result,” he added.
The back-to-back champions Lady Bulldogs were the first team in Group A to advance to the best-of-three crossover semifinals.
NU will face either Adamson University (4-0) and Arellano University (4-1).
The Lady Eagles, though, are still in contention despite falling to a 3-2 win-loss record. They will rely on the result of the match between Far Eastern University (3-1) and Lyceum University of the Philippines (1-3).
In case of a tie, there will be a playoff match between Ateneo and FEU on October 4.
Jhoana Maraguinot registered 14 points, all from spikes, while Kat Tolentino scored 12 and skipper Bea de Leon added 10 markers for Ateneo.