Jaja Santiago and the Ageo Medics finally won in the Japanese V.League Women’s Division 1 Final Eight stage after defeating the NEC Red Rockets in straight sets, 25-18, 25-21, 25-19.
The UAAP Season 80 MVP tallied five attacks from 12 attempts to go with five blocks. Katarina Barun Susnjar paced Ageo with 22 points while Horie Miyuki added 14 markers. Yuri Yoshino and Misaki Inoue made nine and five, respectively.
Meanwhile, American import Rhammat Alhassan paced the Red Rockets with ten attacks and three blocks while Nanami Hirose supported with 11. Mizuki Yanagita and Kana Ono had eight and six points, respectively, while Shiori Aratani and Sarina Koga tallied four apiece.
Ageo dominated in attack points, 48-39, and aces, 7-0.
Prior to this victory, the Medics had a tough five-game losing streak that started against JT Marvelous. They then dropped a five-setter against the Hitachi Rivale and a three-setter to the Toray Arrows. Their agony continued with another five-set loss to the defending champion Hisamitsu Springs after leading two sets to one. Loss number five came via a three-setter versus the Toyota Auto Body Queenseis.
Despite the victory, the Ageo Medics are already out of Final Three contention for they are currently ranked seventh out of eight teams with a 1-5 record and nine points. However, they could play spoiler to the Red Rockets’ aspirations because the defeat prevented them from adding to their 10 match points while dropping to 1-5 as well.
The Springs are at the top of the standings with a 6-0 record and 23 points. JT’s at second with 14 points and a 3-2 standing while Toyota is at third with a 4-2 slate and 13 points. Still in the hunt are the Arrows at 4-1 to go with 11 points. The Arrows are battling the Queenseis as of press time.
The Ageo Medics will close their season against the Denso Airybees tomorrow (March 24) at 3 pm, Philippine time.