Cesafi women’s volleyball finals: USPF outlasts USC, forces do-or-die game 3 

By: Glendale G. Rosal - CDN Digital Correspondent | February 03,2024 - 06:12 PM

Cesafi women's volleyball finals.

Players of the USPF Lady Panthers celebrate after scoring against the USC Lady Warriors in Game 2 of their Cesafi women’s volleyball finals. | Photo by Christian Dave Cuizon

CEBU CITY, Philippines— The University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF) Lady Panthers kept their Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc. (Cesafi) women’s volleyball title bid alive after defeating the University of San Carlos (USC) Lady Warriors in five sets in Game 2 of their Best-of-Three finals series on Saturday, February 3. 

The Lady Panthers shocked the favored Lady Warriors in their second meeting of the Cesafi women’s volleyball finals, beating them in five grueling sets,  28-30, 25-21,21-25, and 25-17, and 15-7, at the USC Main Campus gymnasium. 

Their victory forces a do-or-die game 3 slated on Sunday, February 4, at the same venue. 

USPF head coach Yolly Rizarri revealed that they spent the entire week preparing for their comeback after getting swept, 0-3, in game one last January 28.

This time they came more prepared. The Lady Warriors of head coach Grace Antigua barely won the first set, 30-28. 

The Lady Panthers retaliated, winning the second set 25-21, headed by the eventual “Player of the Game”  and team captain Ressel Pedroza, to tie the match with one set on each side. 

USC was on the brink of winning the Cesafi women’s title for the first time since 2018 when they won the third set, 25-21, putting them ahead, 2-1, in the best-of-five sets showdown.

However, the Lady Panthers’ clawed back after winning the fourth set in lopsided fashion, 25-17,  tying the match 2-2, to force the deciding fifth set.

The Lady Panthers went on to finish off the Lady Warriors after dominating the fifth set of game 2 of the Cesafi women’s volleyball finals. They started with a blistering 6-0 scoring run with Pedroza leading the charge and went on to stretch their lead to eight points, 9-1. 

Pedroza’s ace serve further increased USPF’s lead to 10, 13-3, their biggest in the entire match. USC attempted a comeback after cutting the deficit to six, 7-13. 

Still, USPF maintained their huge lead en route to winning the match and forcing Sunday’s Cesafi volleyball do-or-die game 3. 

“Paninguhaon namo ug maayo,” said Rizarri.

“Wala mi nisabay sa gipaspason sa ilahang offense. Nakita man namo nga paspas kaayo sila mo atake, so diha mi nibawi sa recovery ug pag set sa among mga atake. Nag focus mi sa depensa. Mas nindot ang receiving namo. Mas nindot pud ang pagbalik sa bola.”

According to Antigua, one huge factor for their defeat was the absence of one of their key hitters, Kristen Petancio, who was sidelined due to a foot injury.

“Murag intense kaayo ilahang duwa ron. Wala mi kaayo naka attack karon kay napiang among usa ka hitter, si Kristen Petancio. Sayang kaayo, dili kaayo mi maka atake sa center. Maayo to kung naa si Petancio, gamit siya sa offense,” said Antigua.

“We will still to try our best tomorrow. Anyway the ball is round gyud. Dili lang gyud ko mo kumpyansa, kinahanglan trabahuan ug maayo especially among floor blocking.”

Their game 3 showdown is schedule between 1:30 p.m to 2 p.m, depending on the outcome of the men’s Game 2 finals between USC and USJ-R Jaguars which is currently being played as of this writing at the same venue. 


Cesafi: USC wins game one over USPF in women’s volleyball finals

Cesafi Volleyball: Old rivals, USPF, USC lock horns in women’s finals

USC escapes with a grueling 5-set win vs. USPF in Cesafi women’s volleyball tilt

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TAGS: Cesafi, Finals, USC Lady Warriors, USPF Lady Panthers, women's volleyball

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