Returning to the National Capital Region Athletic Association (NCRAA) campaign, the DLSU-D volleyball men and women teams tasted a mix of defeat and triumph against the Philippine Merchant Marine School Mariners (PMMS) in the preliminaries of the 23rd season of NCRAA held at the Ugnayang La Salle on January 14.
The Lady Patriots immediately grabbed the momentum as they crushed the Lady Mariners in straight sets, 25-23, 25-5, and 25-18.
The uneasy first set led to a back-and-forth game as PMMS’ compact defense countered DLSU-D’s powerful attacks before the scores went to a 23-all record.
Wrecking the deadlock, standout Maribeth Lara generated two continuous crosscourt spikes that pierced through the Las Piñas-based squad’s tight shield, grabbing the first set victory, 25-23.
DLSU-D’s scoring spree continued in the second period,destroying their opponent’s hopes. The green-and-white squad cushioned the buffer as they begun with a 12-1 run, right before they dominated PMMS with a 20-point advantage, 25-5.
Despite the errors committed by the Lady Patriots, the third chapter still ended in dismay for PMMS as the new lineup of the Dasmariñas-based squad overwhelmed the foe with their executive plays, 25-18.
Star holdovers Lara and Iumi Yongco garnered a total of 23 points to lead the Patriots in the three-set victory.
The Patriot spikers, meanwhile, fell short in upholding DLSU-D’s court dominance as they knelt to PMMS Mariners in nail-biting five sets, 21-25, 26-24, 25-18, 29-31, and 14-16.
From DLSU-D’s unstable first set, Patriot Aidam Adam and Aldin Bin combined 10 points from superb kills to edge PMMS in the second canto, 26-24. The advantage stayed in favor of the green-and-white squad as they amplified their offense in the third canto, 25-18.
Forcing a do-or-die set, DLSU-D lost fuel after encountering several deuce plays in the neck-and-neck fourth period, 29-31.
Both teams exchanged perfect attacks and blocks throughout the final set of the game but the Patriot defense collapsed during the last moments of the game,marking their first loss in the season, 14-16.
Moreover, Adam led DLSU-D with 19 points while Eddiemar Kasim and Bin added 18 and 16 markers, respectively.
The Lady Patriots’ next clash in the preliminaries is against the Rizal Technological University (RTU) Lady Thunders on January 18 at the PMMS gym, while the men’s team will face the Blue Thunders on January 20 at the RTU gym.