By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA
College of St. Benilde overcame a slow start before firing on all cylinders for a 25-21, 25-11, 25-10 victory over a hapless Arellano side Wednesday and inch closer to winning the NCAA women’s volleyball crown via a sweep at The Arena in San Juan City.
After a tight opening set that saw the Lady Blazers falling into a maze of errors, the squad of coach Jerry Yee quickly regrouped and displayed their old formidable form in the next two frames to draw the first blood in their best-of-three finals series.
Another victory for the Taft-based spikers on Friday would earn them a title sweep, having finished the nine-game eliminations unbeaten to earn the outright finals berth.
Gayle Pascual steered the Lady Blazers with 17 points built on 13 kills, three blocks and one ace while Michelle Gamit chipped in 11 points including nine attacks.
Yee said they didn’t adjust right away from the 11-day respite in the opening set, committing errors here and there that gave Arellano more confidence to keep the match close.
But four straight points enabled the Lady Blazers to shatter a 16-all count and pull away to take the opening set, giving them the needed momentum and the vital Game 1 win.
“Yung first set andaming nakakalusot na palo ng Arellano so we had to catch up. Nawala yung game speed namin, hindi kami makasabay,” said Yee.
The next two sets, as they say, were history as St. Benilde flexed its muscles to dominate Arellano.
Mycah Go also starred for the Lady Blazers with eight points while Cloanne Mondonedo and Chenae Basarte took turns distributing the ball well to finish with 14 and 11 excellent sets.
Pauline De Guzman scored nine points while Trina Abay, Charmina Dino and Cess Bello combined for 15 points for Arellano, but their efforts went futile.