MANILA, Philippines – San Beda College underscored its status as a contender in the NCAA Season 93 women’s volleyball tournament after registering a three-set sweep of University of Perpetual Help on Thursday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Veteran Cesca Racraquin and Maria Nieza Viray led the way for San Beda as they came up with a thrilling 28-26, 25-18, 29-27 victory over the Lady Altas.
The Red Spikers improved to 2-0 in the tournament, joining defending champion Arellano University and De La Salle-College of St. Benilde at the top of the standings.
“Maganda ang ginalaw ng mga bata,” said San Beda coach Nemesio Gavino after the game.
“Tinrabaho namin sa training talaga,” he added. “Talagang napaghandaan namin.”
Viray torched the Lady Altas for 20 points, while Racraquin scored 13 including the final two kills for San Beda in the third set.
Though they completed the win in straight sets, it was not a straightforward win for the Lady Red Spikers as they were dragged into extended battles by the Lady Altas in the first and third frames. San Beda was three points away from winning the match, 22-19, in the third set when Perpetual Help came roaring back.
With Lourdes Clemente firing darts from the service line, the Lady Altas scored four straight points. Hershey Llorente blocked the San Beda attackers in consecutive rallies, putting Perpetual up 23-22, and it was back-and-forth from there.
The Lady Altas saved three match points, with Llorente tying the match for the last time at 27-all with a booming quick kill. But Racraquin refused to let her team lose, as she fired a down-the-line hit that put the Lady Red Spikers on top, 28-27.
In the next rally, Clemente’s spike was dug up, setting up Racraquin’s offspeed hit that served as the match-winner.
“Ang Perpetual, malaking bump sa road na kailangan naming pagdaaanan,” said Racraquin. “We went through that, and napagdaanan namin ‘yun, so I’m so happy.”
Clemented had 16 points, and Cindy Imbo added 11 for Perpetual Help. But the Lady Altas got only six markers from skipper Bianca Tripoli, and they managed only 32 attack points against San Beda’s 42. The Lady Red Spikers also got 29 free points off Perpetual’s errors.
The Lady Altas dropped to 1-1, dropping into the middle of the pack together with Jose Rizal University, San Sebastian College, and Colegio de San Juan de Letran.
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