UNITED Volleyball Club banked on Kalei Mau and import Yaasmeen Bedart-Ghani to eke out a 21-25, 25-18, 23-25, 25-14, 15-11 victory over Sta. Lucia on Thursday in the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix at the Arena in San Juan.
Mau nailed a lucky drop ball to put UVC at match point, 14-10. Sta. Lucia import Casey Schoenlein saved one more point but Amy Ahomiro nailed the game-winning hit.
Mau finished with game-high 26 points, on top of 12 digs, while Bedart-Ghani had 21 kills and four blocks for 25 points, while making 20 digs.
UVC head coach Joshua Ylaya noted that they should have done better in the third to gain momentum and close out the match early.
Instead, United VC finished with a 7-7 win-loss record for at fifth place after collecting only two points from its last preliminary match for 19 total, just a marker behind Cignal at fourth.
"It was frustrating para sa kanila kasi we lost a really close set. Us (coaches) didn't have to say much to them, because the players knew it was a wake-up call for them," Ylaya said.
“We were hoping to have a chance at a twice-to-beat. Whoever we face, we're not gonna be taking them lightly.”
UVC will face the twice-to-beat fourth placer — either current fourth placer Cignal or third-running PLDT Home Fibr — in the quarterfinals on Tuesday.
Schoenlein dropped 20 points for Sta. Lucia. Pam Lastimosa had 13 points and made 12 excellent receptions, while Molly Lohman added 11.
The Lady Realtors finished at the bottom with a 2-12 record and will face unbeaten team Petron (14-0) on Saturday in the quarterfinals.