THE José Rizal University (JRU) Lady Bombers are in constant pursuit of its holy grail — a first ever NCAA women’s volleyball championship.
And what better way to start the quest than to launch it on a high note?
Showing grit and determination, JRU overcame a flat start by coming through with a strong finish in turning back Letran, 13-25, 25-22, 25-17, 25-17, on Tuesday to set in motion its ambitious bid for a breakthrough title in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Season 97 at the Paco Arena.
Given up for dead after a lifeless opening set effort, the combo of skipper Dolly Grace Verzosa, Sydney Mae Niegos, Renesa Melgar Riza Rose and setter Jerelyn Laurente resuscitated the Lady Bombers with their strong effort that was highlighted by their determined attacking play, rock-solid net defense and superb court coverage.
The win also proved that the Kalentong-based spikers were not a team of Ms. Versoza — a second-best outside spiker in Season 93 four years ago — alone as it also produce solid performances from multiple players.
Mses. Niegos and Melgar were two of them as they fired 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Ms. Rose also blossomed by chipping in eight hits.
Ms. Laurente, for her part, did her damage with 23 excellent sets while contributing two points.
It helped that the Lady Knights imploded in the final three sets and finished with a disastrous 42 errors.
While winning its first championship sounded a little ludicrous, the Lady Bombers, whose closest brush to a title was a first Final Four finish in 2018 that produced a Most Valuable Player awardee of alumna Shola Alvarez, are not losing hope and taking it a game at a time.
“We are happy with the win and we hope to be competitive for the rest of the season,” said JRU athletic director and NCAA Management Committee representative Paul Supan. — Joey Villar