MANILA, Philippines - Unbeaten Arellano U smashed a listless St. Louis of Baguio with its vaunted defensive game and came away with a quick, emphatic 25-13, 25-9, 25-13 victory to clinch the first quarterfinal berth in the Shakey’s V-League Season 11 First Conference at The Arena in San Juan City yesterday.
Christine Joy Rosario came through with a solid, all-around effort as she finished with a match-high 15 hits, including 11 kills and four from blocks, while Dana Henson backed her up with 10 hits to anchor the Lady Chiefs’ fourth straight victory in the season-opening conference of the league sponsored by Shakey’s.
“Our reception and blocking did it for us,” said Arellano U coach Obet Javier, who steered the Legarda-based squad to a runner-up finish in the recent NCAA women’s volley wars.
National U leaned anew on its vaunted sister tandem of Dindin and Jaja Santiago as it spanked a Gretchel Soltones-less San Sebastian, 25-16, 25-19, 25-16, to notch its third straight win in Group B of the event backed by Mikasa, Accel and Lion Tiger Mosquito Coil.
The 6-3 Dindin and 6-6 Jaja combined for 23 hits with the former doing the damage from everywhere with eight kills, three aces and two blocks.
Aiko Urdas added 12 hits to help the defending champion Lady Bulldogs.
Czarina Berbano and Jolina Labiano led the Lady Stags with eight points apiece but they sorely missed the power-hitting Soltones, who sustained an ankle injury in the team’s loss to Far Eastern U two weeks ago.
San Sebastian dropped to 1-2.
Spearheaded by the scrappy Rosario, Arellano U completely shut the door on St. Louis’ attackers, who were able to punch in just 16 kills out of 91 attempts, way below the former’s whopping 39 connections out of 92 tries.
The Lady Chiefs had 27 excellent digs as against the Lady Navigators’ nine while Angelica Legacion set up the attack for Arellano with 16 of the team’s excellent sets compared to SLU’s Elaine Daniel’s measly three.
Mary Jane Ticar and Elaine Sagun also combined for five aces as the Lady Chiefs dominated all departments to prime themselves up for their sweep bid against the Adamson Lady Falcons tomorrow in the elims.
The 62-minute demolition came after Arellano disposed of St. Benilde in 64 minutes last Thursday but Javier doesn’t mind going through the distance, like when they shocked the reigning UAAP champion Ateneo Lady Eagles in five last March 30.
“It doesn’t matter how long or how quick we won, the most important thing is we keep on winning,” he said.
St. Louis, which was paced by Roxanne Almonte’s eight hits, fell to its third straight defeat to stay at the bottom of Group A.