Region III shrugs off rust to end CAR's journey in secondary girls volleyball

ANTIQUE, Philippines – The Central Luzon volleyball team capped its elimination round campaign with a bang as it came back from set down to beat Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), and complete a 4-game sweep in the elimination round of the 2017 Palarong Pambansa secondary girls volleyball tournament at the St. Anthony’s College gymnasium on Thursday, April 27.

After starting slow, the girls from Region 3 found their bearings in the final two sets, exploiting CAR’s porous net defense while making their own key defensive stops to claim the Group C’s top spot and eliminate CAR from playoff contention.

Region 3 plays Soccsksargen on Friday, April 28, in a one-game quarterfinal at 11 am, while Cordillera’s campaign has come to end with 2-2 card.

Warm up set

Team captain Jolina Dela Cruz led Region 3’s comeback with 20 points, built on 17 attacks and 3 service aces, while Erica Santos and Rachelle Roldan had 7 points apiece. Roldan tallied 6 service aces, including 4 in the second set.

Dona Tuazon and Kayle Pascual also played big down the stretch, adding damage on CAR’s side with their timely hits to finish with 6 and 5 points, respectively.

Hindi kasi agad kami dumating kaya medyo kulang sa warmup. Pero kahit ganoon, nakuha naman ng mga bata ang kanilang laro at nagtuluy-tuloy na,” said Region 3’s head coach Ronnie Sarita. 

(We didn't arrive on the venue on time so we lacked time for warm up. But even so, the kids still got their bearing and owned the game.)

The red-and-yellow-clad Region 3 started strong in the deciding set, zooming to a quick 18-4 lead off Dela Cruz, Tuazon and Pascual’s successive attacks before holding on late to get the victory.

Despite giving up 29 errors, Region 3 came on top after dominating the attacking and serving departments, outscoring CAR on both via decisive margins.

Central Luzon’s floor defense spelled the major difference as it allowed Cordillera to just 12 attack-points throughout while registering 38. Its reception was also better than CAR’s as it misreceived the ball only 8 times to Cordillera’s 12.

If there was a silver-lining for CAR’s performance, then it was Karen Ulidan, whose serves during the first set gave Region 3 some tough time figuring it out.

Cordillera came back from 15-20 down to draw first blood, 25-23. – Rappler.com

Set scores (Central Luzon - CAR) : 23-25, 25-12, 25-15