Published on September 3rd, 2014 | by Camilla Saguin
Lady Spikers ready to hurdle obstacles to capture elusive beach volleyball prize
The Lady Spikers finished the elimination round of the UAAP season 77 beach volleyball tournament in second place with a 6-1 win-loss card giving them a twice-to-beat advantage in the semifinals.
DLSU’s women’s beach volleyball team composed of Kim Fajardo, Cyd Demecillo and Ara Galang suffered a setback at the start of the tournament when they dropped their opening match against University of Santo Tomas’ Cherry Rondina, Rica Rivera and Bianca Cruz 18-21, 13-21. The loss, however, did not dampen the spirits of Kim, Cyd and Ara as they swept their remaining matches in elimination round.
DLSU’s coach Noel Orcullo is hoping that the strong performance of Kim and Cyd in the elimination round will continue in the semis “Sana magtuloy tuloy. Medyo mahirap yung format pero sana kayanin.” (I hope that it continues. The format is kind of difficult but I hope we make it).
The trio of UST was able to sweep the elimination round, giving them an outright finals berth which also means that the semifinals will not be the usual final four format but will instead be a stepladder format. The winner of the playoff game between defending champions Adamson, represented by Amanda Villanueva and Len Cortel, and Far Eastern University, bannered by Charm Simborio and Bernadeth Pons, will face a DLSU team with a twice-to-beat advantage. The winner between La Salle and either FEU or Adamson will go up against UST in the finals.
Coach Noel feels that it will be important for his team to be able to maximize the advantage that they gained in the elimination round by advancing to the finals right away. “Since naging stepladder yung format dahil walang talo yung UST, I’m hoping na matalo na namin kaagad yung winner ng AdU -FEU game para finals na kaagad kami.” (Since it became a stepladder format because UST didn’t lose, I’m hoping that we can beat the winner of the AdU-FEU game so we can reach the finals right away).
When asked for his thoughts on UST having a huge thrice-to-beat advantage in the finals and his team’s chances of bagging their first ever beach volleyball crown, coach Noel acknowledged the difficulty of playing a renowned beach volleyball team such as UST, “syempre mahirap din kasi yung UST meron silang separate na team for beach and indoor volleyball. Tayo yung sa beach hugot lang sa indoor. Halos one week lang or one and a half weeks lang yung total practice time namin tapos yung UST nag training talaga ng matagal. Sana lang maka adjust talaga yung players. I’m hoping na sana makuha namin yung championship.” (Of course it will be hard because UST has a separate team for beach volleyball and indoor volleyball. For us, we only get our players from our indoor volleyball team. We only had about a week or a week and a half of total practice time then UST; they have been training for a long time. I’m just hoping that the players can adjust. I’m hoping that we’ll be able to get the championship).
The Lady Spikers return to UE Caloocan today, awaiting the winner of FEU and Adamson who will clash at 9:00 AM, before seeing action later in the day.