Lady Generals reach NCAA women’s volley semis anewBy Celest R. Flores
MANILA, Philippines — Emilio Aguinaldo College put Lyceum away with a hardfought 27-25, 25-20, 25-19 victory and assured itself a spot in the final four of the 88th NCAA women’s volleyball competition Friday.
Charmille Belleza and Arianna May Angustia scored 14 and 10 points respectively for the Lady Generals, who zoomed to their seventh overall victory.
EAC used a strong start in the second set and a tough stand towards the end of the third to extinguish a pesky Lyceum squad, which reeled to its sixth setback.
Enough cushion helped the Lady Generals withstand a last ditch rally by the Lady Pirates, who pulled within 18-21, in the third set.
Skipper Clara Camille Lozada capped off EAC’s final 4-1 blast with an off speed attack and chipped in five points.
The Lady Generals have made it to the semifinals for the third straight years and head coach Leo Rivera credits the teamwork, above everything else, for his squad’s consistency.
“Di namin makukuha tong [final four slot], kung hindi sa hardwork at dedication ng mga bata,” said Rivera.
“Simula ng hinawakan ko ang team, inuna ko yung bonding para mag-gel ang team. Ngayon, masasabi kong isa na sila,” Rivera added.
Lyceum, meanwhile, missed the mark anew but did not easily let up against EAC behind efforts of Gian Carla Benedicto.
The lanky Benedicto led the Lady Pirates with all of her 12 points coming from spikes with Kailyn Penamaneta adding nine points.
Lyceum tried to make the second set competitive by pulling within five after being down by 9-20 early on, but the lead just proved too big to overcome.