By ANGEL B. DUKHA III
POLITICAL SCIENCE (PolSci) claimed this year’s Athena Cup volleyball championship after overcoming Communication Arts (CA) in a four-set game, 19-25, 25-10, 25-17, and 25-22.
The leadership of PolSci’s graduating captain Ryan Tuguinayo helped his team outlast CA by scoring 15 points throughout the game.
CA gathered momentum early in the first frame, capitalizing on PolSci’s errors, 8-14. Combined with their strong offense, CA scored a 4-0 run and eventually bagged the set.
PolSci did not waste time and immediately reclaimed momentum with an 8-0 run with the help of Tuguinayo’s ace services in the second frame. PolSci’s CJ Santos delivered huge blows to further his team’s lead, 22-9, eventually tying the game.
CA started the third frame with a handful of errors allowing easy scores for their opponent, 12-6. Despite CA’s Ben De Lima and Mon Madeja’s attacks, PolSci still managed to garner a 5-0 run using their tight defense, including 3 points from blocks.
Both teams brought their A game in the fourth set with five deadlocks throughout the frame.
Attacking back and forth, both teams refused to let the other attain a huge lead, 24-21. Ultimately, PolSci ended the game with a spike from Santos.
“[K]umapit kami any moment of the game kasi alam naming malakas talaga ‘yung kalaban, so ang naging strength namin para sa game na ‘to is ‘yung laban ng puso more than ‘yung laban ng skills,” Tuguinayo told the Flame.
The team captain said he was very happy that they will graduate as champions, knowing that everyone worked hard for the win.
“[M]atagal na naming hinihingi na makapag-revenge dahil hindi namin nakuha ‘yung three-peat last, last year, so ito talaga ‘yung goal namin for this season so sobrang saya talaga,” he added.
Tuguinayo challenged the players they will leave behind to “step up for the team.”
“I think nando’n na ‘yung skills ng mga bata, ang sa’kin lang is ‘yung leadership. Siyempre mawawalan kami ng maraming seniors [kaya] ang kailangan nila is someone to step up for the team,” he encouraged. F