With key wins, JRU and Lyceum tighten semifinal race
Lyceum and Jose Rizal University (JRU) clogged up the race for semifinal spots in the NCAA Season 97 women’s volleyball tournament, hammering out contrasting victories at Paco Arena on Friday to forge a three-way tie for fourth place.
Venice Puzon shattered the final deadlock at 13 in the fifth set, scoring on a drop and a service ace to close out a thrilling 25-27, 25-22, 16-25, 25-18, 15-13 victory over San Sebastian, a win where the Lady Pirates had to crawl out of a five-point hole in the deciding frame.
“All our games are a learning experience,” said first-year Lady Pirates coach Cromwel Garcia. “We need to push just a little more to achieve our goal [of making] it to the Final Four.”
That goal is going to go through a wringer.
JRU’s Lady Bombers detonated a 25-19, 25-16, 25-19 victory over San Beda and forged a three-way tie with idling Mapua at 4-4 (win-loss), crowding the last slot in the Final Four at the moment.
Lyceum and JRU square off in the final day of the elimination round on Tuesday while Mapua will have a slight edge as it battles eliminated Emilio Aguinaldo College on Saturday.
Denise Dolorito had 18 points and 12 digs, Janeth Tulang had three blocks for a 16-point outing, while Zonxi Dahab and Jewel Maligmat scored 12 points apiece for the Lady Pirates.
Puzon, meanwhile, finished with three service aces aside from lobbing 24 excellent sets and collecting 13 digs.
San Sebastian lost for the third time in eight matches and needs a win more to stay out of the skirmish for playoff spots.
Kat Santos had 18 points, including two three service aces, while Tina Marasigan hammered 14 kills for the Lady Stags.