Lady Bulldogs draw first blood, near tournament sweep
National University moved a win away from ruling the inaugural PVL Collegiate Conference.
National University kept its hot winning streak burning and could be heading into completing a tournament sweep of the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference.
With Jaja Santiago at the helm, the Lady Bulldogs drew first blood, 25-22, 21-25, 25-18, 26-24, Wednesday night against Bernadeth Pons-less Far Eastern University in the best-of-three Finals while stretching their winning streak to eight at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Santiago had 15 kills, four kill blocks and four aces for a 23-point output fot NU while Risa Sato got 12 markers. Audrey Paran delivered 11 points, Jorelle Singh got nine, while Aiko Urdas finished with eight points and 16 digs for the Lady Bulldogs, who survived FEU's crisp 14-ace outing.
Setter Jasmine Nabor tallied 46 excellent sets in NU's 51 attacks. The third year playmaker scored six, half coming off blocks for the Lady Bulldogs, who had 12 kill blocks.
NU, which won the last two Collegiate Conference crowns of the defunct V-League, can close the series on Saturday. Game 3, if needed, is on Monday.
The Lady Bulldogs built a 21-15 lead in the fourth set only to see the Lady Tamaraws comeback and tie the frame at 22. NU again went up, 24-23, but Celine Domingo saved a match point with a cross court kill.
But back-to-back errors coming off a service error by Heather Guino-o and a long cross court hit by Domingo surrendered the match to NU.
"Kanina may mga nakita tayong mga rallies that we could've controlled right away but like I said hindi pa nila makuha ang balance on being relaxed and assertive," said NU coach Babes Castillo of his wards.
Czarina Carandang got 17 points off 13 attacks and four aces, Jeanette Villareal posted 15 while Toni Rose Basas dropped 10 for FEU, which played without Pons and libero Kyla Atienza.
Lady Tams coach George Pascua opted to sit out Pons and Atienza to reserve their energy for the all-important match against University of Sto. Tomas in the 80th UAAP women's beach volleyball tournament on Thursday.
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