De La Salle Univeristy’s tandem of Kim Fajardo and Cyd Demecillo outplayed the duo of Bernadeth Pons and Kyla Atienza in game two of the Finals, 21-16, 25-23 to capture the first ever UAAP Beach Volleyball Championship for DLSU.
Starting the season at 0-2 was unfamiliar territory for the Lady Spikers but instead of losing hope, Kim Fajardo used that slow start to fuel the rest of their campaign, “nung naging 0-2 kami sinabi ko kaagad na hindi pwede to kasi La Salle tayo. Kilala tayo sa puso. Kilala tayo na malakas kumapit.” Says Kim “Kaya yung pinagdaanan namin sa season kinapitan namin lahat. Kumapit lang kami kahit malapit na matalo. Kapit lang “.
The Lady Spikers then went on to win their last five games of the elimination round including a make-or-break game against the defending champions, University of Santo Tomas (UST) to finish in a triple tie for second place with Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) and Adamson University (AdU). AdU was relegated to fourth place via the quotient system while DLSU faced ADMU in a virtual best-of-three series.
In their playoff game, the Lady Spikers trounced Ateneo in straight sets, 21-16, 21-19. The Lady Eagles bounced back in the next game, beating DLSU 16-21, 22-24 to force a do-or-die game. The third and deciding match was as exciting as it gets as both teams gave it their all in a hard-fought three-set battle. Ateneo won the first set 20-22, pushing La Salle to play even harder with their backs against the wall. The Lady Spikers came out on top after winning the next two sets 21-14, and 16-14 to advance to the best-of-three Finals.
Less than an hour after booking a ticket to the Finals, the Lady Spikers stepped in the sand court once again to face the top-seeded Lady Tamaraws for the championship. DLSU drew first blood and won the first game of the Finals in another grueling three-set match, 21-17, 16-21, and 15-12.
In the potential title-clinching game two, Kim Fajardo and Cyd Demecillo showed resilience and heart as they saved three set points in the second set before finally capturing the elusive UAAP Beach Volleyball Championship.
After the win, Most Valuable Player Kim Fajardo couldn’t contain her happiness; all she could say at first was just “sobrang saya”. But she then went on to say that the Championship has a bigger purpose which is to give motivation and confidence to the whole team, “pinilit talaga namin makuha yung Championship para mabigyan din kami ng kompyansa sa indoor. Malapit na din yung Unigames and gusto namin pagkuhanan ng team nang lakas ng loob at confidence yung Championship na nakuha namin”.
In the road to De La Salle Univeristy’s first ever championship in UAAP Beach Volleyball, there were bumps and bruises but it is the HEART and the ANIMO that prevailed.