Collegiate volleyball

UST rebounds, Benilde thwarts Letran for first SSL win

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UST rebounds, Benilde thwarts Letran for first SSL win

POWERHOUSE. St. Benilde and Letran duel in a rematch of the NCAA volleyball finals in the SSL National Invitationals.

Shakey’s Super League

A young UST squad stays alive in the SSL National Invitationals, while Benilde edges Letran in a thrilling five-set rematch of their NCAA women’s volleyball finals duel

MANILA, Philippines – After a stunning opening-day loss, the UST Golden Tigresses earned redemption as the St. Benilde Lady Blazers also flexed their muscles in the 2024 Shakey’s Super League (SSL) National Invitationals. 

UST – the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball runner-up fielding a rookie-laden crew this time – scored a hard-fought, four-set victory over Team Soccsksargen, 25-17, 25-18, 28-30, 25-14, for a 1-1 record in Pool B on Thursday, July 11, at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium in Manila. 

Middle Blocker Margaret Altea poured in 17 points built on 11 attacks, 5 blocks, and a service ace to lead the Tigresses, who recovered from a stunning opening-day loss to University of Batangas.

St. Benilde, meanwhile, fended off Letran’s hot pursuit for a thrilling five-set escape, 18-25, 25-20, 25-27, 25-20, 15-13, in a rematch of the NCAA Season 99 finals.

Wielyn Estoque registered 26 points, 23 coming off attacks, as the Lady Blazers scored their opening win in Pool D. 

Zamantha Nolasco also produced 17 points and 4 blocks for the reigning NCAA champions.

Clydel Catarig’s timely attack allowed the Lady Blazers to inch closer to victory against the Lady Knights in the deciding set, 14-11, before finally sealing it.

“We are so happy, despite our many errors and struggles on the court, we still won the game,” Estoque said in Filipino during a post-game interview. 

“I always think of contributing to the team,” she added.

After slumping in the first frame, Estoque and Nolasco powered the Lady Blazers with their crosscourt kills in the second set to stave off Letran, 24-19, and level the match.

Martin Nizelle Aeriyen topscored for Letran with 16 points, while Angelique Ledesma notched 11 points and 3 blocks in their heartbreaking defeat. 

Janelle Maignos, meanwhile, topped the scoring for Team Soccskargen with 16 markers in 14 attacks and 2 service aces in their losing cause against UST.  

In Pool C, the University of Southern Philippines Foundation Lady Panthers overwhelmed NCAA bronze medalist LPU Lady Pirates in four sets, 25-19, 17-25, 25-23, 25-19, behind Ressel Pedroza’s 15 points. 

Enderun Colleges also subdued Xavier University in straight sets, 25-12, 25-21, 25-18, tallying its first win in Pool A. 

Another quadruple-header on Friday, July 12, is set to determine which teams will advance to the quarterfinals.

FEU and NU look to book their quarterfinal ticket as the Lady Tamaraws face LPU at 9 am while the Lady Bulldogs match up with Xavier University at 12 pm. 

University of Batangas aims to eliminate Team Soccskargen at 2 pm while University of San Carlos fight for its tournament life against CSB at 4 pm. – Niño Dominic Ronquillo and Eugero Vincent Liberato/

Niño Dominic Ronquillo and Eugero Vincent Liberato are Rappler interns.

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