Fajardo, Demecillo rule UAAP women’s beach volley
La Salle’s Kim Fajardo and Cyd Demecillo swept Far Eastern University’s Bernadeth Pons and Kyla Atienza to clinch its first-ever championship in the UAAP Season 78 beach women’s volleyball tournament Wednesday at the Sands SM By The Bay.
The Lady Spikers needed three sets to repulse the Lady Tamaraws in the Finals opener, 21-17, 16-21, 15-12, before returning in the afternoon with a 21-16, 25-23 victory in Game 2 their improbable run for the crown.
In the Final Four decider, La Salle put an end to Alyssa Valdez’s hopes of winning a beach volleyball title in her final year and ousted Ateneo, 20-22, 21-14, 16-14.
It was a sweet victory for the Lady Spikers, who won nine of their last 10 matches to capture the women’s tiara.
“When we started 0-2, I told Cyd that ‘We’re from La Salle. We shouldn’t be plaing like this.’ We have something to prove and we needed to get strength,” said Fajardo in Filipino. “This is my last year that’s why we needed to win. That was my inspiration.”
Fajardo took home the season MVP honors, while National University’s Jasmine Nabor was named the Rookie of the Year.
Ateneo, meanwhile, snatched its first-ever men’s crown as MVP Ysay Marasigan and Marck Espejo tripped University of Santo Tomas’ Kris Roy Guzman and Anthony Arbasto, 21-16, 21-19, in the Finals series that went through four grueling games.
The Growling Tigers dragged the thrice-to-beat Blue Eagles to a decider with a 21-14, 21-16 win in Game 3. Ateneo and UST split the first two Finals matches.
FEU’s Jude Garcia took home the top rookie honors.
In Game 2, the Lady Tamaraws were on the verge of extending the match to a third set but the Lady Spikers got into the groove with Demecillo and Fajardo delivering the key kills to frustrate Pons and Atienza.
La Salle finally made it to the pedestal after several near misses in the last couple of seasons.
“We did not expect this. We just persevered to get the title,” said Demecillo, who along with Fajardo had only five hours of sleep before the Lady Spikers’ morning match. The duo played for Meralco, which has the core of La Salle players in a club league, which ended at 10 p.m. Tuesday.
FEU became the favorites after topping the single round elimination with a 6-1 record before bundling out fourth-ranked Adamson University in the Final Four.
Demecillo and Fajardo pounced on Valdez and Bea Tan’s error-filled game to give the Lady Spikers’ the right to face on the top-ranked Lady Tamaraws in the best-of-three title series.
Valdez has not been successful in the sand court for the Lady Eagles, finishing second in 2012 and settling for third place honors this season.
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