THREE-time champion Sisi Rondina and rookie Babylove Barbon brought University of Santo Tomas to the Finals as they swept the seven-game elimination with a 21-9, 21-5 victory over Ivana Agudo and Sheena Gallentes of Far Eastern University in UAAP Season 80 women’s beach volleyball tournament on Friday at the Sands by the Bay in Pasay City.
Rondina and Barbon never lost a single set in all seven games and they delivered UST’s fourth outright Finals in the last five seasons.
And for Rondina, this is the most special elimination sweep in all those four outright Finals since it’s her final season.
“Hindi katulad ng dati na medyo kaba lang. Ngayon parang may halong emosyon. Ngayon parang iniisip ko na na nasisink in ko siguro yung last ko na,” expressed Rondina, who is currently unbeaten in her past 17 UAAP games dating back to Season 79 Finals.
Although the graduating spiker delivered championship in their past three outright Finals, Rondina believes it’s not going to be a walk in a park when they play in the best-of-three championship round on Sunday.
“Pero di pa naman kami panalo kasi meron pang finals. Ayun tatrabahuhin pa rin namin and walang titigil. Bilog yung bola,” added the Cebuana, whose school has an impressive 25-1 record for the past three seasons.
De La Salle’s Michelle Morente and Tin Tiamzon, meanwhile, clinched the No.2 spot and twice-to-beat advantage with a 21-17, 21-14 victory over University of the Philippines’ Isa Molde and Justine Dorog.
Morente and Tiamzon finished with a 6-1 win-loss record beating Antonette Landicho and Kly Orillaneda of National University, 21-13, 21-12, early in the morning.
Landicho and Orillaneda bounced back in the afternoon with a over Hannah Infante and Gracel Ave, 21-16, 21-11, to seal the third spot with a 5-2 record and set a knockout semis match with Lady Maroons Molde and Dorog in the first phase of the stepladder semis on Saturday, 9 a.m.
Molde and Dorog needed to labor their way to get the last ticket of the semis as they took down joint fourth placer Ponggay Gaston and Jules Samonte, 21-19, 21-19.
UP opened the last day of elimination with a 21-17, 21-11 victory over winless UE’s Lyen Ritual and Donna Nebrea before losing to La Salle’s Morente and Tiamzon in the afternoon to finish with a 3-4 record in the elims.
Ateneo’s Gaston and Samonte also had contrasting results losing to Agudo and Gallentes of FEU (2-5) in three sets, 15-21, 21-15, 15-13, before bouncing back to UE’s Nebrea and Ritual, 21-10, 21-11, to force a playoff with UP only to settle for fifth place and fail to enter the stepladder semifinals.