NU cops golden double in high school volleyball
Mark Escarlote on Nov 30, 2016 03:22 PM
The National University Lady Bullpups completed a grand slam in the girl's division.
National University howled to its third straight title after surviving a fierce Finals Game 3 battle with the gritty University of Sto. Tomas Junior Tigresses, 25-22, 25-23, 15-25, 25-20, Wednesday to close the 79th UAAP girl's volleyball tournament at the Adamson Gym.
The Lady Bullpups showed nerves of steel in the fourth set clawing their way from an early five-set deficit to annex another crown to solidify its dynasty in the high school division.
Meanwhile, the Bullpups completed NU's domination of the high school contest with a straight sets, 25-15, 25-18, 25-19, win over the Tiger Cubs in Game 3 of the boy's Finals series.
Billie Jean Anima was named Finals Most Valuable Player after spearheading NU's repeat boy's crown.
NU girls head coach Raymond Castillo described their championship run as an 'incredible journey.'
"This is the most amazing championship year namin," said the mentor, who was forced use 13-year old Camilla Lamina as his starting setter to rest injured Joyme Cagande in the first two frames.
The season Best Setter winner Cagande, who dislocated her right shoulder in Game 2, was fielded as a reserve in the third frame and played through pain in the last set to help deliver another title to NU. The 17-year-old daughter of a broad sheet photographer had a bout with fever on the eve of the series decider.
But it was Finals Most Valuable Player Princess Robles, season MVP Faith Nisperos and Mhicaela Belen that nailed the most important hits in the fourth frame that erased NU's 1-6 deficit.
The Lady Bullpups unleashed a scorching run to take the lead 15-13 from Belen's cross court kill.
NU held on to close in at match point, 24-19, on a Nisperos ace.
The Junior Tigresses saved a point but Genesa Eslapor overcooked her serve as the Lady Bullpups erupted into jubilation with another title conquest.
"I think what it tells us is that we are really a team," Castillo added. "Humugot kami ng lakas mula sa isa't isa. Wala talagang star player."
NU controlled the first two sets but committed too many errors in the third as UST led by Eya Laure and top setter Maji Mangulabnan teamed up to help the Junior Tigresses build a 20-12 advantage that NU failed to trim down.
The Lady Bullpups took the series opener 29-27, 25-19, 25-22, before UST equalized in the second game of the best-of-three series, 25-16, 25-21, 21-25, 25-13, last Sunday to end NU's 13-game winning streak.
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