POLITICAL SCIENCE (PolSci) defended its crown in the AB Sportsfest mixed volleyball category after sweeping Behavioral Science (BES), 25-19, 25-23, and 25-23 in the championship match held Feb. 24.
PolSci’s team captain Judenn Mascareñas, hailed as the Most Valuable Player, contributed 12 points for his team.
The defending victors’ road to triumph proved to be rough as BES went for a neck and neck duel during the second and third sets.
Both teams started with deadlocks in the first set, 3-3, 4-4, and 7-7.
The spikes of BES’ Miguel Tan and side tosses of John David Subiere helped boost their team’s score during the middle part of the set but were no match to PolSci’s defense, 12-17.
Even with double violations, PolSci kept the upper hand until the end of the first set, posting a six-point advantage in the score, 25-19.
PolSci maintained its momentum during the early part of the second set, 8-3, but BES caught up and gave a five-to-nothing run which knotted the score at 8—the eighth point courtesy of Tan’s spike, which caused the BES crowd to be ecstatic.
Determined to counter attacks from its opponent, PolSci then blazed its offense during the latter part of the set, 21-17.
BES’ unwavering desire to own the second set brought the scores at 23-24 as the team strengthened its defensive walls, but PolSci’s Reymark Simbulan had the last say with his spike that ended the set at 25-23, in favor of PolSci.
PolSci made sure to battle it out during the third set to secure a back-to-back title, giving out an early 9-3, courtesy of Ryan Tuguinayo’s powerful hits.
BES managed to come close PolSci’s score at 6-9, but the combined efforts of PolSci’s Lawrence Capuchino and Tuguinayo further widened their team’s lead, 20-10.
Service aces from Subiere allowed five consecutive points for BES, bringing the scores from 18-24 to a thrilling 23-24.
But a save from PolSci’s Elyanna Dayanghirang crushed the hopes of BES for a fourth set, ending the game at 25-23.
“May tiwala naman kami sa isa’t isa kaya kahit [sinong] players ang ilabas, alam naming makakayanan ‘to kasi ‘yun nga, may teamwork kami,” PolSci’s co-captain Dayanghirang told the Flame. “Tatlong bagay lang talaga [ang sinasabi namin sa team:] just enjoy the game, learn from your mistakes, and give your 101 percent.” F ANGELIQUE ANNE F. TORRES