THE TEAM of Political Science (PolSci) crushed the hopes of Communication Arts (CA) for a back-to-back championship after emerging as victor in the AB Sportsfest mixed volleyball tournament finals, 25-17, 23-25, 25-23, and 25-21.
Determined to dethrone last year’s champion, PolSci immediately hustled to match the attacks of CA, earning them a four-to-nothing lead. The consecutive spikes of PolSci’s team captain Judenn Mascareñas prevented CA from gaining points.
CA’s team captain Froilan Hilario led his team in cutting the deficit to seven, 23-16, after PolSci failed to return Hilario’s drops.
But PolSci’s seething offense was too much for CA to handle, as they capped the first set with an eight-point advantage, 25-17.
The second set kicked off with PolSci having an early 5-0 lead, thanks to Elyanna Dayanghirang’s five straight service aces.
But CA tied with PolSci at 19, taking advantage of the latter’s consecutive errors. The communication arts students claimed the second set, 25-23.
CA set its momentum early in the third set, 5-1, after PolSci failed to return Jepoy Francisco’s sharp services.
Threatened by CA, PolSci came back through Mascareñas’ barrage of spikes, which tied the score at six. The forceful spikes of PolSci’s Ryan Tuguinayo also caused damage to CA, 10-8.
CA went neck and neck with PolSci after Jepoy Francisco blocked Macareñas’ drop attempt, 9-10.
Through the consecutive spikes of PolSci’s Tuguinayo and drop shots of CA’s Hilario, both teams raced and tied at 22.
CA eventually gave up the third set to PolSci after a short drop attempt of Max Mercado.
The championship battle tightened as CA and PolSci prevented each other from getting a comfortable lead at the start of the fourth and deciding set.
Francisco then unleashed a powerful spike, allowing CA to have a three-point advantage, 10-7.
PolSci redeemed its lead as CA’s errors left the team with a short chance of sweeping the series, 23-16.
Hilario dug CA’s grave after committing a net violation which enabled PolSci to win the series, 25-21.
Dayanghirang, who received the Most Valuable Player award, said the team’s dedication to the game was their winning key. “Sinabi ko naman sa kanila na play this game with your life kasi hindi lang ‘to basta-basta game. Hindi ‘to eliminations, hindi ‘to semis, finals na ‘to,” Dayanghirang said.
Defending champion’s Hilario, meanwhile, expressed his regrets. “Bilang dating champion, I have my regrets kasi may mga mali rin ako. Kaso we’ll make sure na we’ll be more equipped and armoured next year for a comeback championship.” F KIMVIRLY P. ZAYAT