The hopes of the Arellano Lady Chiefs to book a direct flight to the NCAA Season 94 women’s volleyball championship series are within reach. But credit the Perpetual Lady Altas for giving them a scare despite the loss.
The Lady Altas dominated the first set by mounting an early lead that they did not relinquish. Their advantage went up from 7-4 to as many as five, 19-14. However, the Lady Chiefs scored three unanswered points since to chop the deficit to two, 19-17. The Lady Altas responded with four points in succession to stretch their edge to six, 23-17. Perpetual took the first set, 25-18, with a quick attack by Jenny Gaciola. The Lady Altas also benefited from the 11 unforced errors that Arellano committed in the opening set.
The defending champions were awaken and made their move in opening stages of the second set. But the Lady Altas converted a 7-3 deficit into a 7-7 deadlock. From there, the Lady Chiefs responded with a 9-3 run to put the set out of Perpetual’s reach. Arellano claimed the second set, 25-16.
A Necole Ebuen attack that went off the blockers chalked the third set for the Lady Chiefs, 25-19. They were on their way to take the fourth set with a 21-17 lead before the Lady Altas made a monumental push to even the count at 23-all. Princess Bello’s spike off the block brought the Lady Chiefs to set point but her succeeding error extended the match. However, consecutive attacking errors from Jhona Rosal and Cindy Imbo clinched the set and the match for Arellano, 26-24.
Ebuen led the way for the Lady Chiefs with 16 points while NCAA Season 93 Finals MVP Regine Arocha contributed 11.
Only the San Beda University Lady Red Spikers are standing in the Lady Chiefs’ quest for an eliminations sweep and an outright Finals berth. Meanwhile, the 4-4 Lady Altas will continue their fight for a Final Four slot versus the San Sebastian Lady Stags on Monday, January 14, at 12 nn. Both games will be played at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.