Lady Spikers strike first UAAP beach volleyball crown
Cyd Demecillo and Kim Fajardo celebrate De La Salle's breakthrough UAAP beach volleyball title.
Cyd Demecillo and Kim Fajardo of De La Salle rallied from three set point disadvantages in Game 2 to turn back the Far Eastern University pair of Kyla Atienza and Bernadeth Pons, 21-16, 25-23, and complete a best-of-three series sweep as the Lady Spikers hoisted their first ever UAAP women’s beach volleyball crown Wednesday at the MOA Sands By The Bay.
The Lady Spikers trailed, 19-20, in the last frame before scoring two straight to take the set point advantage. The Lady Tams turned the table with two straight points for a 22-21 lead. Demecillo tied the frame at 22 before Pons gave FEU its last set point advantage on an off speed push in front of the net.
Demecillo equalized with a soft tap before Fajardo hammered a middle attack. Demecillo delivered the finishing blow with a sharp strike the Lady Tams failed to control.
“Di ko ini-expect (na mananalo) pero yun ang goal namin. Sobrang saya sa pakiramdam,” said Fajardo, who played her last beach volleyball tournament for the school. “Parang naging inspiration ko na last ko na ito and kailangang manalo.”
The Lady Spikers took the series opener, 21-17, 16-21, 15-12, after eliminating the crowd favorite Ateneo de Manila tandem of Alyssa Valdez and Bea Tan, 20-22, 21-14, 16-14.
“I wasn’t expecting it talaga (na magtsa-champion) kasi last week sobrang naunahan talaga kami ng talo tapos another loss again galing sa Adamson,” said Demecillo, who last year with the same partner bowed to University of Sto. Tomas in the finals. “So siguro tyinaga talaga namin hanggang sa makarating na kami sa finals.”
DLSU took a long route heading to the championship round after finishing the eliminations in a three-way tie with Ateneo and Adamson with identical 5-2 cards.
The Lady Spikers and Lady Eagles figured in a playoff for the last twice-to-beat advantage while the Lady Falcons took the no. 4 seed after the tiebreak. DLSU took the Final Four incentive after winning in straight sets in the playoff but Ateneo erased the Lady Spikers advantage late Saturday in two frames.
“Sobrang saya at sarap na lahat ng pagod and init worth it,” added Demecillo, who with Fajardo played in the Philippine Superliga late Tuesday and only had four practice sessions in the sand for the whole tournament.
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