IN THEIR CAMPAIGN at the 2023 Shakey’s Super League (SSL) Preseason Championship, last September 16 and 17 at the FilOil EcoOil Arena, the San Beda Lady Red Spikers would find their start spoiled by the Arellano University (AU) Lady Chiefs in a three-set sweep 15-25, 21-25, 15-25, while a gutsy comeback was not enough for them to get by, the Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU) Lady Pirates in a four set thriller 6-25, 25-19, 24-26, 18-25.
And despite a valiant effort, the Adamson University (AdU) Lady Falcons left them winless in a three-set sweep, 25-14, 25-10, 25-17, last October 1, at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.
SBU vs. AU
The Lady Chiefs started strong from the get-go, with a 4-0 run during the first set and a service error from the Lady Chiefs, allowing the Lady Red Spikers their first point of the set. A few errors from the Lady Red Spikers early on were able to put the Lady Chiefs up with a comfortable lead allowing them to take the first set, 15-25.
The second set, however, showed that the Lady Red Spikers were not out of contention yet, with Gina Espina and Klein Abraham immediately scoring the first points. It was back and forth between the two squads, with the set being tied at 19. The Lady Chiefs were then able to break away from the Lady Red Spikers, being within set point 19-24. An error from AU and a service ace from the Lady Red Spikers were able to put them up 21-24, but the Lady Chiefs ultimately secured a set point, 21-25.
The third set saw the two squads going back and forth early being tied 8 apiece but AU were just able to find openings in the Lady Red Spikers’ defense leading by as much as 9 points 10-19. Though a late 5-2 rally from the Lady Red Spikers, 15-21, showed signs of life, the Lady Chiefs ultimately finished the game with a 4-0 run, 15-25, securing the set and the sweep.
SBU vs. LPU
With a slow start for the Lady Red Spikers, as after a sweep against Arellano University’s (AU) Lady Chiefs on their first match last September 16, the Mendiola-based team failed to surmount a comeback.
LPU’s opposite spiker, Jaja Tulang, set out the gap between SBU with her continuous and consistent strong attacks along with powerful offenses by the team’s setter, Venice Puzon.
Maxine Tayag responded swiftly; gaining a point for the team, followed by probably the longest rally for the set between the two teams.
LPU’s Johna Dolorito ended the rally shortly, along with Tulang and Puzon’s combined and orchestrated attacks, leading to an astounding 6-25 score difference favoring the lady pirates for the first set.
Yet in a sudden turn of events, SBU’s Lady Red Spikers made a surprising leap as Chynna Castillo’s full swing along with Angel Habacon’s powerful spike opened the second set for SBU.
With the Red squad leading throughout the duration of the second set, Tulang’s power attack that sailed out at the last minute assured SBU’s lead, acquiring a set score of 25-19.
Following this neck-and-neck fight between the two teams, the Lady Red Spikers being within two points of claiming the set during the third, 24-26, lost momentum on the last set with a score of 18-25. LPU’s Lady Pirates handed the Lady Red Spikers their second loss of the pre-season tournament.
SBU vs AdU
Hungry to recover from a recent setback against the LPU Lady Pirates, the Lady Red Spikers entered the match with great resolve to break into the win column.
However, this proved to be an uphill battle for the Mendiola-based team as the Lady Falcons, having maintained an unblemished record of 3-0, served as a daunting adversary.
From early in the game, the Lady Falcons asserted their dominance as their MVP, Barbie Jamili, undeniably delivered an outstanding performance, accumulating 8 points, 7 attacks, and 1 ace.
Prominently, Lady Red Spikers’ Angel Habacon stood out through her remarkable performance however, the Lady Falcons soared through, completing a clean sweep of Pool B, rising above all competing teams.
Despite the loss, the San Beda Lady Red Spikers showcased their resilience, with 18 attacks, 1 block, and an ace, reflecting their unwavering commitment to competing at their best.
With their spirits undeterred, they aim to continue their way to the upcoming NCAA season, bringing their A-game and emerging even stronger in the battles ahead.
(with Ayane Alibarbar and Rizian Veniz Balleta)