UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas is now two wins away from retaining the women’s championship in the UAAP beach volleyball tournament.
Reigning MVP Judy Caballejo and Maru Banaticla won 21-19, 21-19 over Ateneo’s Fille Cainglet and Alyssa Valdez to complete a seven-game sweep of eliminations and gain an outright finals berth Wednesday at the UE Caloocan sand court.
UST will have a huge ‘thrice-to-beat’ advantage in the finals. La Salle and Adamson face off on Saturday for the other championship berth.
In a rainy second step-ladder showdown, the Lady Falcons’ Pau Soriano and Sheila Pineda hammered out a 16-21, 21-16, 15-12 victory over the Lady Archers’ Wensh Tiu and Kim Fajardo to force a semis decider.
The Lady Archers claimed the No. 2 seed and the ‘twice-to-beat’ edge in the step-ladder semifinals after beating the Lady Falcons, 21-15, 19-21, 15-10, at the end of the eliminations.
University of the Philippines booked its first-ever semifinals berth in the league as Aia del Mundo and Pau Genido nipped National University’s Dindin Santiago and Jen Reyes, 21-13, 14-21, 15-13.
However, the Lady Maroons stint was short-lived as Adamson ousted UP, 21-14, 21-12, in the first step-ladder match.
The Lady Bulldogs, whose campaign got a lifeline after the league forfeited the Lady Eagles’ 18-21, 21-17, 15-13 win last Saturday due to Ateneo’s failure to give valid medical reasons on Bea Tan’s absence, wound up in fifth place with a 3-4 card.
University of the East’s Jessica Paron and Francislyn Cais, meanwhile, finally made it to the win column with a 17-21, 21-17, 15-10 triumph of Far Eastern University’s Loryvel Faytaren and Sam Dawson.
The Lady Tamaraws, the Lady Eagles and the Lady Warriors finished in a tie for sixth to eighth places with identical 1-6 records.
In the men’s division, FEU and NU dispute the crown after disposing of their respective semifinal opponents.
Arvin Avila and Karl dela Calzada of the titleholder Tamaraws eliminated Red Christensen and Kevin dela Vega of the Green Archers, 21-19, 21-16, while the Bulldogs’ Josephenry Tipay and Edwin Tolentino bundled out the Falcons’ John Hendrix Competente and Gilbert Longavela 21-17, 21-17 to advance to the championship for the first time.