Sweet 16: Perfect NU bags historic UAAP crown
National University made it look too easy all season long.
Capping a dominant campaign, the NU Lady Bulldogs overpowered the La Salle Lady Spikers, 25-15, 25-15, 25-22, to complete a rare 16-0 season and capture a historic UAAP women’s volleyball championship on Tuesday, June 21, at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Rookie MVP Bella Belen led the NU rampage in Game 2 of the finals as the young and talented Lady Bulldogs claimed their first title in 65 years.
The season sweep came just hours after the Lady Bulldogs also swept the top individual awards.
The NU Lady Bulldogs are nearing the end of a UAAP women’s volleyball title search 65 years in the making as they go for a 16-0 season sweep against the La Salle Lady Spikers on Tuesday, June 21.
Led by rookie MVP award frontrunner Bella Belen, NU handed its Season 84 finals foe a dominant 25-20, 25-12, 25-21 Game 1 sweep – the Lady Bulldogs’ third straight over the Lady Spikers this season alone.
“It’s just different if you face La Salle, and I can’t really figure out why. Maybe it’s their incredible history under Coach Ramil [de Jesus] and his many championship crowns,” Belen said in Filipino after Game 1.
“For me, we’re really extra motivated if they’re our opponents. We’re more eager to beat them.”
Now with their backs against the wall, it’s the Lady Spikers’ turn to show eagerness in facing the Lady Bulldogs, but outhustling this NU team on a historic roll is clearly easier said than done.
While Belen, Alyssa Solomon, Cess Robles, and Ivy Lacsina all scored at least 13 points each in Game 1, no La Salle player even breached double-digit scoring in the tough loss.
Rookie of the Year candidate Leiah Malaluan only had 6 points – already a team-high – while Jolina dela Cruz and Best Middle Blocker frontrunner Thea Gagate scored only 5 each.
After nine straight set losses this season alone to the Lady Bulldogs, it is now or never for the Lady Spikers if they want a shot to complete their resurgence atop the UAAP.
Will the league’s new faces finally make history after a six-decade wait or will its historically elite volleyball program hang on to fight another day?
Game tip-off is at 6:30 pm, one hour after the Season 84 awarding ceremony.