POLITICAL SCIENCE (PolSci) is back in the spotlight of the Athena Cup mixed volleyball tournament as it is set to defend its title against a red hot Behavioral Science (BES) squad on Feb. 24.
PolSci prevailed over Legal Management (LegMa) in a heart-stopping five-set match, 27-29, 25-20, 19-25, 25-23, and 16-14 during their semifinal rubber match held last Feb. 20 at the Felix Huertas court.
Both teams displayed determination to claim victory during the first set as premier spikers Judenn Mascareñas of PolSci and Wayne Parulan of LegMa exchanged powerful spikes toward each other, which led the score to 11-10 in favor of LegMa.
LegMa did not easily give up the rally as Parulan’s spikes denied PolSci’s chances of owning the set, extending the score to 29-27.
Tables turned during the second frame as errors from the players of LegMa ushered the score to 3-0 with PolSci in the lead.
Spikes from LegMa’s Parulan and Mark Jayson Pangan allowed the team to catch up, 7-9, but still fell short after committing multiple errors, surrendering the second set to PolSci, 20-25.
Determined to get back on track after errors marred the second set, Parulan delivered consecutive kills in the third frame, bringing the score to 4-5, with PolSci still in control.
The score tied up at 14-14 as Parulan and Mascareñas yet again exchanged spikes. However, LegMa had an extra bounce in its step to close the set, courtesy of a drop ball from Parulan, 25-16.
The two championship contenders kept a close match during the fourth set as the score tied up thrice at 12-12, 17-17, and 23-23, until Parulan committed an error leaving the score at 25-23.
The two teams played it down the wire as they opened up the fifth set with a deadlock, 6-6.
The game grew more intense as both teams found themselves knotted at 14-14 but PolSci finally booked its finals ticket when errors by LegMa prevailed in the payoff period, 16-14.
On the other hand, BES made easy of its five-set semifinal match against English Language Studies (ELS) 25-22, 25-20, and 25-15.
BES started slow in the first canto as the attacks of its players landed wayward. ELS enjoyed an 8-0 run, however, BES was able to catch up and tie the score at 11-11 thanks to John David Subiere’s powerful spikes.
BES recalibrated its defense and forced ELS to commit errors, owning the first set, 25-22.
Miguel Tan and John Cruz of BES fueled their team through piercing spikes that tied the score at 20-20 in the second set, after trailing by as much as four points.
BES capped off the second set with a score of 25-20 with a service ace from Subiere that the opposing team failed to return.
BES then handily disposed ELS in the third frame, 25-15. Consecutive spikes and drops by Tan deprived ELS the chances of catching up, with BES converting ELS errors into points. F K.P.Z.