Iriga-Navy sinks BaliPure for opening win in PVL
Iriga-Navy started off its campaign on a high note after turning back BaliPure, 25-23, 25-23, 22-25, 25-19, in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference Wednesday at Filoil Flying V Centre.
Macy Ubben heated up for the Lady Oragons with 27 pointswhile Lauren Whyte added 17 in the team’s first game back after a one-year absence from the league.
BaliPure, which has eight players from Nazareth School of National University, missed the services of American hitter Janisa Johnson, who had just arrived in the Philippines late Tuesday night.
The Water Defenders instead relied on Michaela Belen, the reigning Most Valuable Player of the UAAP girls’ division, who had 17 points.
“Of course I’m happy with how the team performed because we saw the fruits of their practices,” said Iriga-Navy head coach Petty Officer 3 Edgardo Rusit. “At first I didn’t think that this style of play would happen but the players really got down to it.”
The only time the Lady Oragons lost control of the match was in the third set when it went down by seven points, 16-9, and eventually losing 25-22 after recovering momentarily from their sloppy play.
Iriga-Navy picked up the slack midway through the fourth when it took a 14-8 buffer to keep the Water Defenders at bay.
Ubben gave the Lady Oragons a 22-16 lead with a strong through-the-block kill right before Hezzymie Acuña scored one more for Iriga-Navy for the 23-17 lead.
An error on BaliPure’s side put the Lady Oragons at the 24-17 match point and the Water Defenders got two more sighs of relief when Ubben committed a service error on the ensuing play and Belen scored on an off-the-block kill to cut the deficit to 24-19.
Princess Robles, the UAAP Season 79 Finals MVP in the Girls’ Division, unfortunately, missed out on the Water Defenders’ last serve when she overshot her attempt
Alexis Matthews and Robles added 15 points apiece for the Water Defenders.
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