USJ-R Baby Jaguars crowned the Cesafi girls volleyball queens
CEBU CITY, Philippines— The University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) Baby Jaguars girls volleyball team are the new queens of the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc. (Cesafi) girls volleyball after they dethroned the Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu (SHS-AdC) Magis Eagles, 25-16, 25-20, and 25-23, in their championship duel on Sunday, December 3, 2023, at the University of San Carlos (USC) Main Campus gymnasium.
The USJ-R Baby Jaguars of head coach Roldan Potot weren’t just basking in volleyball glory as it was also a redemption for them from their heartbreaking finals loss to the Magis Eagles last year.
The Magis Eagles outlasted the Baby Jaguars in a five set thriller last year in their finals encounter. This time, it was a different story with the Baby Jaguars winning all three sets against the heavily favored defending champions.
USJ-R was already in command from the first set leading as many as seven, 22-15, banking on their relentless attacks, while exploiting SHS-AdC’s unforced errors. They went on to win the opening set by nine points, 25-16.
In the second set, the Magis Eagles of newly-appointed head coach Mark Donald Macuto showed some fight, trailing only by one, 15-16, from their service aces and attacks.
But, the Baby Jaguars pulled away with a five point cushion, 22-17, anchoring on the eventual “Most Valuable Player” Angel Tecson’s relentless attacks. They went on to seal the second set, 25-20, with Tecson scoring three of their last five points.
USJ-R led as many as 10 points, 16-6, with Tecson leading them in attacks in the third set, but the Magis Eagles didn’t give up their title without a fight after erasing the huge lead.
The Magis Eagles breathed down the Baby Jaguars’ necks, 23-24, from the combined efforts of Samantha Kiara Tatad, Adrianna Eliz Menchavez, and the tournament’s “Best Middle Blocker” Johanneessee Gabrielle Perez.
Still, USJ-R had the last laugh after eventual “Best Second Middle Blocker” Angel Mae Almonia perfectly drilled the set point to seal their title-clinching victory, 25-23.
The other awardees of the Cesafi girls volleyball tournament were all from the USJ-R Baby Jaguars. They are Ann Khelly Bacalso (best libero), Jaz Manguilimotan (best setter), Kamea Kenisha Lepiten (best opposite spiker), and Joralyn Panangin (second best open spiker).
The Baby Jaguars are gunning to sweep the Cesafi high school volleyball tournament as its boys squad is currently playing against the University of Cebu (UC) Baby Webmasters in the boys championship match.
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