It’s been a season the place a whole lot of firsts has occurred to Nationwide College (NU) in fairly a protracted whereas. First loss after 20 straight wins. First back-to-back defeats in a very long time. First time in latest reminiscence that Bella Belen had been held scoreless.
The defending champions have had sufficient of that.
“We’ve moved on. We talked about it and made a promise that it’s going to by no means occur once more,’’ stated Belen.
It’s going to take greater than daring statements, nonetheless, for NU to regain the fearsome kind it flashed final season when the Woman Bulldogs went undefeated on the way in which to claiming the UAAP ladies’s volleyball crown.
“We’re a champion staff and we have now to regain our character,’’ stated staff captain Princess Robles after the Woman Bulldogs started the highway to redemption with a 25-21, 27-25, 25-19 beating of the College of the Philippines (UP) Maroons on Saturday.
The Woman Bulldogs mustered much more chunk this time in comparison with final week once they had been badly bruised by the tournament-leading and undefeated La Salle Woman Spikers twice in a row final week.
Belen confirmed the way in which in opposition to UP, the varsity that held her scoreless throughout their first-round assembly.
Therapeutic course of
“That was one in all my targets at the moment. Not simply to bounce again as a staff but in addition to redeem myself as a result of I keep in mind that I didn’t play [well and my usual minutes] throughout our first-round recreation in opposition to them. I’m blissful that our staff carried out at the moment,” stated final season’s rookie-MVP, who scattered 19 factors constructed round 18 assaults and had 11 glorious receptions.
The Woman Bulldogs started the therapeutic course of from these back-to-back, straight-sets losses to La Salle lengthy earlier than they took the court docket—they began by determining what went mistaken within the first place.
“Throughout the previous few days, we centered our preparation on the issues that we lack. We’ve to carry again who we’re as a staff,’’ stated Robles, who scored 11 factors, highlighted by 10 assaults after seeing restricted motion in opposition to La Salle attributable to a swollen proper knee.
Alyssa Solomon added 9 factors with the NU offensive generated successfully by setter Camilla Lamina, who tossed 18 glorious units.
These completely lobbed units gave Belen a number of open appears and he or she pounced on them as NU took management early in first set. The Maroons fought again as Nikha Cabasac scored a kill of NU’s blockers whereas Solomon despatched a kill lengthy, permitting As much as come inside 22-21.
However a deflection by Sheena Toring on a charging Abi Goc popped UP’s bubble simply as fast and Belen once more rose to the event and delivered a down-the-line kill that closed out the set.
“We began out sluggish and we can’t afford that in our succeeding video games,’’ stated Robles.
Belen sustained the assault within the succeeding body, serving to the Woman Bulldogs reverse a three-point deficit with quite a lot of potent hits that knotted the rely at 23.
Aly Bertolano’s push and a strong crosscourt smash by Nina Ytang saved the Maroons afloat, however an unforced error by Marianne Sotomil on the web and Erin Pangilinan’s block on Cabasac quashed UP’s efforts.
There was little doubt on NU’s skill to finish the match within the third set because the Woman Bulldogs rushed to an 11-5 benefit anchored on Belen and Solomon.
Dannica Celis joined forces with Cabasac and Ytang and matched by the miscues dedicated by the Woman Bulldogs, UP leveled the rely at 15 earlier than Pangilinan, Solomon and Belen once more put order on the NU flooring.
Ytang’s assault produced an error and a success by Goc went broad, accelerating UP’s fifth straight defeat and eighth total in 9 video games.
The Woman Bulldogs can have an 11-day respite because the event takes a break in observance of Holy Week. They’ll face the second-running Adamson Woman Falcons (7-2, win-loss) on April 12.
“We’ll put together bodily and mentally for this match. We had them in 5 units [during the first round],’’ stated Belen, who watched the Woman Falcons carry down the Ateneo Woman Blue Eagles in straight units, 25-23, 25-17, 26-24, within the different recreation.
The Blue Eagles absorbed their sixth defeat in 9 outings.
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