MANDALUYONG CITY – Rizal Technological University successfully defended its National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (NAASCU) Women’s Volleyball crown after fending off the challenge of visiting Philippine Merchant Marine School in four sets at the RTU Gym Wednesday morning (March 8). Scores were 28-30, 25-14, 25-9 and 25-20 and in the process nailing a rare grand slam of three consecutive championships for the Lady Thunder.
RTU was well on the way of racking up the first set by scoring seven unanswered points for a 17-10 lead but the Lady Mariners came storming back. The Lady Thunder reached set point but PMMS scored the next three and pull ahead, 25-24, before eventually taking the opener.
The intensity of the first set took a lot out of the Lady Mariners as they became a totally different bunch come the ensuing sets. RTU was all-business in claiming the second set then banked on 12 straight superb services by Porcia Lim to run away with the third.
Still, PMMS tried to stay in the contest, racing to a 13-8 lead in the fourth set until a series of errors allowed RTU to rebound and tie the count, 16-16. There was no stopping the Lady Thunder from thereon as they proceeded to sew up the trophy by knocking in the last seven points of the match to overturn their 18-20 deficit.
RTU team captain Rowena Quinio was named as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player along with a citation as Best Setter. Joining her in the Mythical Six were teammates Dana Persa (Best Outside Hitter) and Mary Joy Onofre (Middle Blocker), Anne Nicole Banas (Best Server) and Dulcia Llanera (Best Libero) of PMMS and Souzan Raslan of Colegio de San Lorenzo (Best Opposite Hitter). RTU coach Edgar Barroga likewise went home with his third Best Coach award.
The Lady Thunder went through the season undefeated, sweeping all three of their elimination round games against Saint Clare College of Caloocan, AMA University and guest team Holy Angel University followed by eliminating Raslan and CDSL in the semifinals. The only time that RTU failed to win the title was in Season 13, their maiden campaign in the league.
Other members of the champion squad are last season’s MVP Zairylle Sky Chavez, Jona Gameng, Mhaye del Monte, Lea Esto, Larrybel Tupan, Monique Guia, Risa Sinadjan, Mae Ann Jimenez, Laravem Hurga and liberos Mayla Casinao and Kyra San Juan. Assisting Coach Barroga are Carlo Sebastian and Shana Marie Costillas.
This early, Coach Barroga hopes to continue their dynasty into Season 17 despite the fact that they will be losing essentially their first six. For now, the Lady Thunder will celebrate their three-peat.
For more photos of the NAASCU Volleyball championship games, visit and like www.facebook.com/naascu2001.