MANILA – Rizal Technological University successfully retained their National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (NAASCU) Women’s Volleyball crown last Wednesday (March 9) at the Centro Escolar University Gym. The Lady Thunder unleashed a deadly combination of skill and power to subdue and sweep the Philippine Merchant Marine School Lady Mariners, 25-19, 25-16 and 25-12.
RTU’s dominance was best exemplified in the second set wherein they scored on five service aces on top of their solid attacks and blocks. It was mopping up operations in the third as the Lady Thunder scored seven unanswered points to break the set and match’s final deadlock, 12-5 and cruise to their second straight championship.
Rowena Quinio was named as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player and Best Setter. Other individual awards went to her teammates Monique Guia (Best Spiker) and Zairyll Sky Chavez (Best Opposite Spiker), the PMMS pair of Shallane Eniong (Best Blocker) and Dulcia Llanera (Best Libero) and Cherry Anne Oliver of CEU (Best Digger).
“We really set it as our goal to retain our championship so we worked hard for one year,” said Coach Edgar Barroga who received his second straight Coach of Year award. “Aside from their play on the court, the unity and camaraderie of the team is what makes them special.”
Prof. Juanita P. Alamillo of CEU and Patrick Nolasco of PMMS awarded the prizes together with Deputy Commissioner Daniel Palada. The rest of the championship roster is composed of team captain and last season’s MVP Shana Marie Costillas, Porcia Lim, Ednalyn Gunio, Zi Soriano, Mayla Casinao, Larrybel Tupan, Rosalie Egoc, Mae Ann Jimenez, Laravem Hurga, Mary Joy Onofre, Kyra San Juan and Lea Esto with assistant coaches Shally Varua and Carlo Sebastian.
Third Place went to the CEU Lady Scorpions who beat AMA University in the one-game playoff last Monday.
Meanwhile, defending champion CEU extended the Men’s Division championship series to limit by flattening RTU in five sets, 25-16, 14-25, 18-25, 25-22 and 15-12. The deciding third match will be at the RTU Gym in Mandaluyong City this Friday (March 11) starting at 8:00 AM.
Holding a commanding 11-5 advantage in the fifth set, the Scorpions nearly folded as they allowed the Blue Thunder to come charging back and threaten, 11-12. Egged on by their home crowd, CEU hung tough and capitalized on RTU’s errors to take the match.
“We guess we made the right adjustments and the home crowd really inspired us to play well,” said Coach Mark Anthony Santos. “For Game Three, it will be a new adjustment to the RTU crowd but we will be ready.”