USPF, ANS go up 2-0 in Shakey’s girls volley
The University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF) Baby Panthers and the Abellana National School (ANS) got off to strong starts Monday, winning their first two matches to share the Group A lead at the start of the 15th Shakey’s Girls Volleyball League – Central Visayas leg at the Lux Oriens Gym of the Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu (SHS-ADC) in Canduman, Mandaue.
ANS first beat Colegio de la Inmaculada Concepcion in the morning, 25-10, 27-25 and the hard-fighting SHS-ADC Magis Eagles elementary team later, 28-26, 25-18 to go up 2-0 (win-loss).
Abellana’s victory against SHS-ADC however, didn’t come on a silver platter as they blew numerous leads nothing more painful than their second set collapse where they allowed the Magis Eagles to ignite a quick 5-0 run that tied the score at 12-all forcing Abellana mentor Thelma Datig to call for time.
During the timeout, Datig gave an earful to her players and reminded them to tighten up their defense since it would be embarrassing for them to lose to a grade school squad.
And the ceasefire paid dividends for Abellana which closed the game on a 13-6 outbursts highlighted by the tip in of Rhyssa Esgana that surprised Ateneo’s defense.
“I think we were just lucky to get a 2-0 record because our opponents are elementary teams,” said the soft-spoken Datig.
“I just told the players that not because their opponents are elementary players, they should play like them, they should be better” she added.
Not to be outdone were the short-handed Baby Panthers who lost key players during the offseason.
USPF spoiled the debut of newly-acquired Southwestern University hitter Kate Chantal Rodriguez by winning over the Cobras, 25-11, 25-15 before dominating the SHS-ADC elementary team 25-13, 25-16. “I think the factor was their training and attitude in the game.
Of course, since we defeated SWU, one of our goals is to become the champion,” said USPF mentor Yolanda Rizarri. The Baby Panthers lost defensive ace Kirstin Ojeda to the Magis Eagles early this month. In Group B, the Saint Louis College of Cebu had to go tooth-and-nail with the defiant University of Cebu before escaping with a 25-23, 29-27 victory.
The top two teams in each group after the single-round robin eliminations will advance to the crossover knockout semifinals on Saturday.
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