MAKATI CITY – Rizal Technological University ended the two-year reign of Centro Escolar University as champions of National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (NAASCU) women’s volleyball with a dramatic four-set victory in the winner-take-all Game Three last Tuesday (March 3) at the Makati Coliseum. Final scores were 25-22, 23-25, 25-15 and 25-15 in favor of the Lady Thunder.
RTU took the series opener but the Lady Scorpions pulled even by taking Game Two last Saturday (February 28). The Lady Thunder and Coach Edgar Barroga thus exacted payback from their debacle last season wherein they allowed the Lady Scorpions to sweep them in the championship series, 2-0.
After two tight sets, the pressure fell heavily on the defending champion Lady Scorpions as they lapsed into a maze of errors. From a 5-5 deadlock in the third set, the Lady Thunder went on a rampage and surged ahead, 24-14, marking the first time either side lead by twin digits.
The Lady Thunder lost key player Zairyll Sky Chavez late in the first set after she rolled her left ankle in a play at the net that placed her team at set point, 24-20. CEU threatened by scoring back-to-back markers, 22-24, but RTU held firm in the next sequence to take the opener.
A suddenly disorganized RTU squad conceded the second set. However, CEU could not sustain their momentum.
RTU team captain Shana Marie Costillas was named as the Most Valuable Player (MVP). Despite her injury, Chavez got the nod as Best Blocker along with other individual awardees Rowena Quinio, Monique Guia, CEU’s Cherry Anne Oliver and Melissa Tebangin (Best Libero) and Saint Clare College’s Jestine Zamudio (Best Server).
The rest of the champion team is composed of Porcia Lim, Jonnah Gameng, Nicole Aquino, Zi Soriano, Mayla Casinao, Michelle Boquiren, Rosalie Egoc, Lehannah Saira Fuertes, Mae Ann Jimenez, Laravem Hurga and Jonalyn Rosal. NAASCU Secretary General Jose Sanchez and Tournament Commissioner Butch Montinola handed out the trophies and awards.
CEU captured the men’s title last Saturday by sweeping the Blue Thunder in two games. Scorpion Verge Guazon was named as season MVP and was joined in the individual honor roll by teammates Gian Genobaten (Best Setter), Joshua Adlao (Best Attacker) and Amenolah Acot (Best), RTU’s Jamenell Campoy (Best Blocker) and Kenneth Bayking (Best Libero) and New Era University’s Eddieson Neri (Best Server).
Meanwhile, the highly anticipated Cheerleading Competition will be held at the Makati Coliseum on March 13 (Friday) starting at 1:00 PM. The schedules and venue for the remaining second semester events Athletics, Swimming, Chess, Badminton, Table Tennis and Taekwondo will be announced soon.