And then there were four

Four teams remain in contention after 30 pool play matches at the Rebisco Volleyball League 2018 National Finals. The National Capitol Region champions Kings Montessori School will face the Southern Luzon regional champion Holy Rosary School at 9 am tomorrow. Meanwhile, Western Visayas champions Bacolod Tay Tung High School will compete against Hawaii Under 18 in the other semifinal showdown at 10 am. Here’s how each match-up fare.

Kings Montessori School vs. Holy Rosary College

The HRC Rhinos suffered its only defeat in Pool B against Bacolod Tay Tung. Other than that, it has been all victories for them as they started the RVL Nationals with a convincing win over St. Alexius College. They followed that up with a victories against Sarawak Under 18 and Z-Air Maori of New Zealand. Holy Rosary secured their semifinal slot by defeating Leyte National High School in straight sets.

Meanwhile, Kings Montessori has defeated everyone that has come their way to claim the top seed in Pool A. They claimed a two-setter against Holy Family Academy in the opener and outlasted Cagayan de Oro National High School for win number two. KMS survived in three sets against the University of San Jose Recoletos for their third win and bested University of Mindanao Tagum College to go 4-0. KMS kept their unblemished record by defeating Hawaii Under 18.

This match-up features a face-off between the two of the steadiest setters in the RVL Nationals with Venice Puzon for HRC and Louie Romero for KMS. Therefore, this pairing will boil down on who can execute their plays better. Holy Rosary will utilize their impressive spiking core of Aliah Marce, Lency Angeline Duarte, Caryl Monique Quillem, and Red Bascon to throw KMS’ defense off. The Holy Rosary defense should also check the quick attacks of KMS from the middle if they are to have any chances to win.

Meanwhile, KMS will exploit their dominance in the middle with Rizza Andrea Cruz, Sunshine Layug, and Martina Lucida Aprecio getting quick sets from Romero. If HRC can contain their attacks from there, Lucille May Almonte and Antonette Adolfo will be waiting in the wings. Kings Montessori has more offensive weapons but HRC should play a higher level of defense to get through the gold medal match. But with both teams seemingly built the same way, it’s not surprising if this goes to five sets.

Bacolod Tay Tung vs. Hawaii Under 18

The Thunderbolts have been putting away their opponents quickly over the week with no match reaching a third set. They clobbered the Sarawak Under 18 team in the opener and pounded St. Alexius College for their second victory. Leyte National High School is BTT’s third victim while they got to 4-0 by putting up a clinic against Holy Rosary College. Tay Tung scored its fifth victory versus Z-Air Maori.

Meanwhile, the Hawaiians made quick work of Holy Family Academy and Cagayan de Oro National High School before taking a three-setter over the University of San Jose Recoletos Jaguars. Team Hawaii Under 18 had a dominant performance against the University of Mindanao Tagum College before going down to Kings Montessori School to settle for second semifinal slot in Pool A.

Erika Jin Deloria said it best when asked about their strategy. “Kailangan namin bilisan ang laro namin para hindi sila makaporma,” the outside attacker said. There’s no other way for Bacolod Tay Tung to outlast the taller Hawaiians who will impose their power to enter the gold medal bout. Team Hawaii will rely on the spiking prowess of Naniloa Spaar, Madisyn Beirne, and Ella Connor to hand the Western Visayas champions their first loss in the RVL National Finals 2018. But that’s no easy task though for they would have to match the steps of the shiftier BTT team. Chevelle Wagner-Chun and Gennezia Hawkins must be quick on their toes to field Tay Tung’s soft touches.

BTT will have a difficult time if they play at Hawaii’s pace. Setter Katherine Cortez should distribute the ball as fast as possible to Deloria, team captain Shane Carmona, Alyssa Bertolano, and Joan Monares. The team of coach Ian Macariola should also establish their aggressive service game to give the Hawaiians reception troubles. Libero Jeanny Padilla will do a yeoman’s job of tracking the powerful spikes of Team Hawaii. With contrasting approaches to book a spot in the first place match, the team that can establish their style consistently will take the victory.

Watch the semifinals and medal matches live!

The semifinal games of the Rebisco Volleyball League 2018 National Finals will start at 9 am Philippine Standard Time. The bronze medal match featuring the losers of both semifinal match-ups will start at 1 pm PST while the best-of-five-sets gold medal match will commence at 3 pm PST. Games will be broadcast at Solar Sports and via livestream at the official Rebisco Volleyball League YouTube channel.

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