PayMaya holds off Iriga, seizes top spot
PayMaya blew a four-point lead but rallied from five down late in the fourth frame as it hacked out a 25-23, 22-25, 25-20, 25-23 victory over Iriga-Navy to grab the solo lead in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Reinforced Conference at the Batangas City Sports Coliseum on Saturday.
Import Tess Rountree hammered in four of her 24 points in the stretch to anchor the High Flyers’ stirring rally. That fight-back was aided by the Lady Oragons’ three late miscues, the last a service error by Shyra Cabriana that sealed the one-hour, 56-minute victory for PayMaya.
It was a big bounce-back win for PayMaya after a shutout loss to the Creamline Cool Smashers in Tuguegarao last week and it shoved the High Flyers to the top of the heap with a 3-1 card in the single elimination round of the season-opening conference of the league organized by Sports Vision and backed by Mikasa and Asics.
“We just tried to keep the ball flying and in play,” said Rountree after delivering another big game spiked by 20 attack points, two blocks and two aces.
Shelby Sullivan and Aiko Urdas backed her with 11 points each while ace playmaker Jasmine Nabor produced 22 excellent sets and libero Lizlee Anne Pantone came away with 29 digs and 15 excellent receptions for the High Flyers.
After seizing a 2-1 set lead, PayMaya broke away from a 6-all count in the fourth by racking up four straight hits. But Iriga, with American Macy Ubben taking charge, tied the count at 15, before the Lady Oragons won six of the next seven points to surge ahead at 21-16.
But Rountree halted that run with help from Grethcel Soltones and Celine Domingo, whose kill-block off Lauren Whyte put the High Flyers at match point, 24-22.
Iriga stayed in the game on a Jerrili Malabanan net violation but yielded the set and the match on a wild serve by Cabriana.
Earlier, Army rebounded from a tough fourth set loss and carved out a 25-23, 21-25, 25-23, 25-27, 15-2 victory over Air Force.