The Arellano University Lady Chiefs and the College of Saint Benilde Lady Blazers outplayed separate rivals to move closer to championship berths in the 89th National Collegiate Athletic Association women’s volleyball tournament at The Arena in San Juan last Monday, January 20.
The Lady Chiefs bounced back from a third set loss to shock perennial NCAA title contenders San Sebastian College 25-9, 25-17, 15-25, 25-21. Menchie Tubiera was virtually unstoppable at the net and scored 17 points, including three service aces, for the Lady Chiefs.
Spikers Jeanette Panaga and Jannine Navarro submitted big games for the Lady Blazers who subdued defending champion University of Perpetual Help System Dalta 26-24, 17-25, 25-20, 25-20 during the start of the Final Four semifinals.
Both Arellano and College of St. Benilde went on to post their eighth win in 10 games.
Panaga and Navarro combined for 36 hits and accounted for six of St. Benilde’s 10 blocks.
The Lady Blazers and the Lady Chiefs will be clinch berths in the best-of-three Finals with victories against the Lady Stags and the Lady Altas, when they swap opponents, during the resumption of the single-round semifinals on Friday, January 24.
The Lady Blazers are now 2-0 against the Lady Altas this season.
Gretchel Soltones led the Lady Stags with 20 points and seven digs but the Cebu native struggled in the fourth set after she was neutralized by the Lady Chiefs’ resolute defense at the net.