THE VOLLEYBALL teams of Communication Arts (CA) and Political Science (PolSci) will go against each other for the AB Sportsfest 2016 crown after finishing off their opponents in the semifinal rounds of the tournament held Monday.
Without the key player Jose Mari Sanga on the floor, Economics failed to continue their undefeated run in the tourney as CA grabbed the finals ticket through a straight-set win, 25-21, 25-22, and 25-18.
The last season’s top two teams went neck-and-neck in the early parts of the first set. The spikes of Economics’ Jayson Lumapas pierced through the defense of CA but were matched by the set plays and drop balls of Jepoy Francisco, tying the game at 21.
Economics conceded the first set to CA, 25-21, after making consecutive errors.
In the second set, CA started a 6-0 run against Economics, creating a 17-11 lead that later swelled into an eight-point lead capped by a spike from Francisco.
Economics then had their own rally led by Gabriel Magno and Lumapas upfront. From being down by eight points, they scored nine consecutive points to even the game at 22-22, but CA found an offensive footing, winning the set at 25-22.
Eager to maintain their court supremacy, CA blazed through the third set opening a six point lead, 10-4.
Economics tried to catch up with the fluidity of CA’s offense, but to no avail as Max Andrew Mercado’s spikes sliced through the defensive wall of Economics. His attacks kept Economics at bay until CA cruised to a comfortable 25-18 victory.
Economics team captain and AB volleyball team player Lumapas said he tried to motivate his team although they were down in most parts of the game. “Nawala po kasi ‘yung cheer namin, ‘yung ingay po sa loob ng court. Kahit ako na lang po ‘yung nag-iingay, nagstand-up po ako para mag-cheer sila. ‘Yung ingay talaga po ‘yung kailangan namin, pero ‘yung nawala [na], na-down na din ako,” a disappointed Lumapas said.
Meanwhile, PolSci booked the last finals ticket after overpowering Behavioral Science (BES).
PolSci, who started strong and gritty, easily demolished BES in the three sets, 25-14, 25-18, and 25-15.
BES gave PolSci a tight duel in the earlier part of the first set until PolSci’s Raymark Simbulan, Francette Flores, and Samantha Makayan pounded spikes and scored points, easing through a 25-15 first-set victory.
The momentum remained on PolSci’s side as they started blazing a 10-1 run against BES in the second set. Lawrence Capuchino joined the foray of attacks with precise spikes from the sets provided by Elyanna Dayanghirang.
Service errors continued to mar the chance of BES for a comeback as Richel Salcedo blasted a service past the line, conceding the second set, 15-25.
In the third set, BES tightened its defense and forced eight deadlocks, keeping close with PolSci. Taguinayo’s service ace untangled the two teams from a deadlock and was later followed by spikes from Makayan and Capuchino. PolSci again mounted a decisive lead, 22-17.
PolSci later cruised for the victory as a cutting cross-court spike of Judenn Mascareñas blasted past the BES blockers. An attack from BES landed wayward, conceding the finals spot to PolSci25-1, 8.
PolSci team captain Mascareñas said he reminded his teammates to keep the game stable and avoid errors which became their key to win the match.
“Nag-field na din kami ng players para once na mag-step [kami] into the championship game, lahat ng players namin even dun sa bench [ay] ready na sila at prepared. We just keep it one point at a time, one set at time, one game at a time, hanggang ma-gain namin ‘yung [championship],” Mascareñas said.
However, the team captain said CA has the firepower that may hurt them in the finals. “[…] We are not as talented and powerful compared sa kanila. Pero we have the mindset na mananalo kami at ibibigay namin ‘yung best namin para manalo kami ng championship.”
The schedule of the finals is yet to be announced. F DONN CLARENZE D. GONZALES