MANILA, Philippines – NU Lady Bulldogs top star Bella Belen has made history as the first ever UAAP women’s volleyball rookie MVP on Tuesday, June 21.
The homegrown star of Sampaloc joined her fellow former Nazareth-NU high school standouts in a stunning sweep of the Season 84 individual awards handed out before the Finals Game 2 between NU and the La Salle Lady Spikers.
Belen also copped the 1st Best Outside Spiker plum to round out her impressive haul with three individual awards. Meanwhile, NU prospect-turned-Ateneo star Faith Nisperos – also an MVP runner-up – earned 2nd Best Outside Spiker honors.
UST star Eya Laure, the season’s top scorer, finished fourth in the Outside Spiker rankings, and was actually edged by NU captain Cess Robles, who leapfrogged to third.
Meanwhile, Thea Gagate, an ex-NU anchor now with La Salle, ran away with the 1st Best Middle Blocker award, while Lady Bulldog Sheena Toring was awarded 2nd Best.
Fan favorite Jen Nierva of NU followed as the Best Libero, besting the likes of La Salle’s Justine Jazareno and FEU’s Max Juangco, while Lady Bulldog setter Camille Lamina bested Adamson’s Louie Romero for Best Setter honors.
NU’s Alyssa Solomon, one of the two top scorers in Game 1 of the finals, stood out as the undisputed Best Opposite Spiker, as UP’s Alyssa Bertolano lagged at a distant second.
NU’s dominance at the individual awards races came with little to no surprise as the Lady Bulldogs are now on the cusp of a rare 16-0 season sweep.
La Salle, on the other hand, has not won a single set against NU in three straight matches this season alone, and now teeters on the losing edge of its resurgent campaign.
With an NU sweep on Tuesday night, the Lady Bulldogs program formally end a 65-year wait for its next UAAP women’s volleyball title. – Rappler.com