PERPETUAL Help routed Emilio Aguinaldo, 25-13, 25-18, 25-16, on Tuesday to close in on a a second straight title in the 91st NCAA juniors volleyball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.
Team captain Jody Margaux Severo led the attack with a match-best 11 hits, six on kills and four on blocks, as the Junior Altas claimed a 1-0 lead in their best-of-three series.
"The boys were determined to take this one, they were really focused on winning," said Perpetual Help coach Sandy Rieta.
The second match is set on Friday and a deicing match, if necessary, will be played on Tuesday.
The Junior Altas took away the Brigadiers' attacking game with a solid net defense and superb court coverage.
"We came into the finals to really deny their spikers and double our efforts in scrambling for the ball and the boys succeeded on both," said Rieta.
So unnerving was Perpetual Help's defense that only four EAC players scored, with skipper Cee-Hay Hicap and Ralph Joshua Pitogo coming up with eight points each.