The 91st NCAA beach volley tournament unfolds Wednesday, Feb. 10 with reigning champions San Sebastian, St. Benilde and Emilio Aguinaldo defending their women’s, men’s and juniors titles at the Broadwalk of the Subic Bay Free Port Zone in Zambales.
Gretchel Soltones, the reigning back-to-back MVP in NCAA indoor volleyball, will team up with Dangie Encarnacion and reserve Alyssa Eroa as they try to jumpstart their title-retention bid against Jose Rizal’s Rosalie Pepito, Maria Shola May Luna Alvarez and Annie Macaraya at 10 a.m.
Perpetual Help’s Vhima Condada, Marijo Medalla and Jamela Suyat, St. Benilde’s Jannine Navarro, Melanie Torres and Danielle Christine Lim and Arellano U’s Regine Anne Arocha, Angelica Sawali and Jenicalynne Tan are the teams expected to give the Lady Stags their toughest challenge.
Last year’s men’s titlist St. Benilde, for its part, will be without its top player Johnvic de Guzman, who have skipped the event leaving the Isaah O’neal Arda, Racmade and Mark Anthony Deximo the mantle of responsibility in defending the crown.
San Sebastian is currently tied with Perpetual Help as the most titled women’s team with four each since the sport was introduced 14 years ago and will emerge as the winningest if it could repeat this season.
Although action starts as early as 10 a.m., the opening ceremony is set at 5:15 p.m. with Jose Rizal’s Paul Supan, the organizing committee chair of beach volley this season, officially ushering in the event backed by The Lighthouse, Bayfront Hotel, Subic Park Hotel, Moonbay Villas, LGR, Mikasa, SBMA and ABS-CBN Sports and Action.
“It’s going to be another exciting beach volleyball tournament,” said Supan.
Emilio Aguinaldo will be the team to beat in the high school division after clinching a three-peat feat a year ago.
The Brigadiers will be represented by Cee-Jay Hicap, Ederson Rebusora and Mario Dua, Jr.