NU rules SSL

NU celebrates during the Shakey’s Super League gold match against La Salle at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum, November 19, 2022. Photo by Rio Deluvio

National University edged De La Salle University, 25-23, 25-20, 25-20, to complete a flawless title conquest of the inaugural Shakey’s Super League Collegiate Pre-season Championship at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum Saturday night.

Behind veterans Ces Robles, reigning University Athletic Association Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player Bella Belen, Alyssa Solomon, libero Jen Nierva, Sheena Toring and setter Lams Lamina along with their deep bench led by freshman Vangie Alinsug, the Lady Bulldogs proved to be unstoppable winning all of their eight matches in the all-to-play format tournament.

NU once again stamped its class over the same team it vanquished in the Finals of the UAAP Season 84 five months ago to end a 65-year title drought in an unbeaten fashion.

Overall, the Lady Bulldogs have strung 24 straight wins since the return of women’s collegiate volleyball in the pandemic era. The win was also NU’s fifth straight over La Salle this year – all coming off straight sets.

Other than an early scare in the opening set with Lady Spikers rookie Angel Canino, Leila Cruz and Thea Gagate doing the damage as well as in the middle of the third set where NU trailed 15-17, the Karl Dimaculangan-mentored squad’s experience and incredible composure pulled the Lady Bulldogs through to claim another shiny hardware.

“Worth it sa mga players na ‘yung pinaghihirapan namin, nagbubunga. Lalo na pag sa game up to the Finals. So, maging consistent rin kami, atsaka yung mga kulang lang namin. Lagi kaming naghahanap ng improvement every tournament, every game,” Dimaculangan said.

The Lady Bulldogs blasted five straight points to erase their two-point deficit midway in the third frame for a 20-17 advantage, enough to keep the Lady Spikers at bay before Solomon tapped the championship point off a broken play that ignited celebration from NU.

Solomon finished with 14 points she collected from 10 kills, three aces and a kill block while Belen added nine for the Lady Bulldogs.

La Salle played sans veterans Jolina dela Cruz, Justine Jazareno and  Matet Espina following their stint in the UAAP Season 85 beach volleyball tournament.

Canino was the lone Lady Spiker in double figures with 14 points, Gagate had eight markers while Cruz and Alleiah Solomon posted seven each.

 


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