San Beda completes semis cast

    SAN Beda University made short work of hapless Mapua University and realized a lofty goal yesterday.

    Barely breaking a sweat, the Lady Red Spikers ripped the Lady Cardinals 25-19, 25-17, 25-19 for their second straight win and clinched a Final Four slot in the 95th NCAA women’s volleyball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.

    Open spiker Nieza Viray led San Beda with 17 points built on 12 attacks, while star skipper Cesca Racraquin pumped in 12 markers all on spikes.

    Middle blocker Kimberly Manzano also added 11 hits highlighted by four blocks, while setter Lynne Matias had 14 excellent sets for the Lady Red Spikers, who forged a tie with Perpetual Help for third with a 6-2 card and handed Mapua its seventh loss in eight matches.

    The Lady Red Spikers’ win completed the Final Four cast, with San Beda joining unbeaten College of St. Benilde, defending three-time champion Arellano University.

    In the other match, San Sebastian College trounced Lyceum 25-20, 25-18, 20-25, 25-16 for its second win that also sent the Lady Pirates packing.

    Reyann Canete scored 14 points off 12 spikes for the Lady Stags, while team captain Shane Requierme had 14 markers.

    Amaka Tan and Veronica Carreon also came up with 12 hits each as San Sebastian improved to 2-6. Lyceum slipped to 3-5.

    Lady Red Spikers coach Nemesio Gavino Jr. was pleased that his squad advanced to the semis and added they are peaking at the right time.

    “At least, na-secure na namin iyong Final Four (berth) pero dapat mas maging hungry pa kami kasi malapit na ang semis,” said Gavino Jr.

    “Nakikita ko na talagang nagpu-pursige ang mga bata. Maganda pa rin sa amin iyon. Iyong morale nila mataas and iyong maturity sa game, nandiyan,” he added.

    After winning the first two sets with ease, Mapua tied the third set at 17-all.

    But San Beda unleashed a 7-2 blitz on a Manzano kill block on Lady Cardinal Alissa Magallanes that pushed the Lady Red Spikers to match-point.

    Magallanes’ spike went out that sealed San Beda’s win.

    Lorraine Barias was the lone bright spot for Mapua with seven points.

    “Siguro isa itong malaking boost para sa kanila para sa mga susunod na laro, hindi na sila magre-relax kapag nanalo ng isang set,” said San Sebastian tactician Norvie Labuga.“Karamihan sa amin, kapag nanalo ng isang set, magre-relax tapos babawi kaya ang nangyayari natatalo sa dulo.”

    Monica Sevilla carried the fight for Lyceum with 15 points, while Alexandra Rafael and Ciarnelle Wanta had 11 and 10, respectively.