Far Eastern University pressed its bid early and pounded on National University’s defense upfront, scoring a 25-22, 25-15, 25-20 victory to advance to the quarterfinals in the ninth Shakey’s V-League presented by SMART at The Arena in San Juan yesterday.
Rosemarie Vargas and Thai reinforcement Eve Sanorseang stood at the forefront of FEU’s attack, delivering 15 and nine kills, respectively, as the Lady Tams outhit the Lady Bulldogs, 47-36, to fashion out the win in 1:21.
The victory was FEU’s second in three games in Group A as it joined group-mate Ateneo (3-0) and Group B leaders San Sebastian (3-0) and University of Santo Tomas (2-0) in the quarterfinal round of the league’s season-opening conference sponsored by Shakey’s Pizza and backed by Mikasa and Accel.
The four teams in each group after a single round elims will advance to the next phase.
Ateneo likewise posted a three-set win against Southwestern University, 25-16, 25-19, 25-19, to sweep Group A with a 4-0 record in the second game.
Alyssa Valdez rammed in 10 kills and finished with 14 hits while Fille Cainglet slowed down with a nine-point game after a series of double-digit outputs for the Lady Eagles, who wrapped up the match and their elims stint in 66 minutes.
Gretchen Ho also shot nine points while Thai Phee Nok Kesinee and Dzi Gervacio added eight and seven hits, respectively, for the defending champions.
Princess Pido topscored for SWU with 12 points but failed to draw solid backup from the rest as Rapril Aguilar added eight and Danika Gendrauli struggled for five points for the Lady Cobras, who dropped to 0-3.
SWU needs to win against Perpetual Help tomorrow to force a playoff for the last quarters berth with NU.
Vargas wound up with 17 points for FEU while Sanorseang came away with three service aces to finish with 12. Guest player Jen Manzano and Wenneth Eulalio chipped in 10 hits apiece to underscore FEU’s balanced attack.
“We executed our game plan well,” said FEU coach Nes Pamilar, whose wards held NU to 36 conversions out of 100 spike attempts.
NU’s guest player Din-Din Santiago matched Vargas’ 17-hit output, all on kills, including three straight in the third set that moved the Lady Bulldogs closer to 20-24. But Vargas unloaded a cross-court attack set by Gyzelle Sy to seal the victory.
FEU complemented its superb offense with a solid net defense as it held Santiago to 17 points after scoring a whopping 31 kills against Southwestern U last week.
Myla Pablo had nine points while Maricar Nepomuceno added eight for the Lady Bulldogs, who commited 20 errors.
Sy set the ball well for the Lady Tams, including two set-closing hits for Vargas. She compiled 35 excellent sets.