AFTER A SILVER finish in last year’s National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Men’s Volleyball Tournament, the San Beda Red Spikers have found themselves winless in the elimination round of the 2023 V-League Collegiate Challenge.
The elimiation rounds of the 2023 V-League Collegiate Challenge were held last August 16 to September 17 at the Paco Arena, Manila. Only the four teams with the best records will advance to the semifinals.
SBU vs. UPHSD
The first game for the Red Spikers saw a rematch of the NCAA Season 98 finals as the Red Spikers faltered in straight sets to the University of Perpetual Help System Dalta (UPHSD) Altas, 14-25, 17-25, 22-25.
The first set saw the Red Spikers open up the scoring with a block from Kevin Montemayor on the Altas’ first spike of the game. The Altas answered back quickly, gaining control of the set heading into the first technical timeout with a three-point lead of 8-5. The Altas continued their momentum as they extended their lead and benefited from unforced errors from the side of the Red Spikers. The Altas ended the first set leading by 11 points with the score 25- 14.
The Altas picked up where they left off on the second set scoring the first two points, while the Red Spikers struggled to answer back. The early moments of the second set also saw the Red Spikers suffer an injury after an awkward landing from outside hitter, Axel Van Book.
The woes continued for the Red Spikers as they trailed heading to the first technical timeout of the set, 3-8. The second set ended after a strong display by the Altas, and a continuation of the errors of the Red Spikers. The Altas took the set, 25-17, through their dominant serves scoring them five aces for the set.
The Red Spikers started the third set matching the pace of the Altas, scoring the first two points. The Red Spikers failed to contain the Altas as they trailed by 2 points heading into the technical timeout, 8-6, in favor of the Altas.
The Red Spikers continued to stay close to the Altas throughout the third set, however, the Altas were able to gain control heading into the closing moments. The Red Spikers rallied to stay within striking distance for the set but fell short, 25-22, closing the game in favor of the Altas.
SBU vs. ADMU
The Next game for the Red Spikers saw them facing their first team from the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP), the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU). The Red Spikers were swept by ADMU, 18-25, 17-25, 21-25.
The Red Spikers gained an early lead in the first set, leading 8-4 into the first technical timeout. After the timeout, Ateneo was able to shift the tides of the set in their favor, gaining the lead and running away with a score of 25-18.
Similar to the first set both teams traded early blows into the early moments of the second set. Ateneo was able to gain a one-point lead into the first technical timeout, leading 8-7.
But as the set went on, the Red Spikers failed to gain the advantage and trailed the Blue Eagles for the remainder of the set, falling with a score of 25-17 to give Ateneo a two-set advantage.
Set number three was also a tight knit affair between the former NCAA rivals, with Ateneo leading 8-7 into the first technical timeout of the set. The remainder of the set saw a continuation, as the Red Spikers and Blue Eagles stayed within striking distance of each other in the points. The Red Spikers were not able to limit Ateneo’s offense as they fell in the third and final set of the game with a score of 25-21 in favor of Ateneo.
SBU vs. DLSU
The third contest for the Red Spikers saw them match up with De La Salle University’s (DLSU) Green Spikers. The Red Spikers lost in four sets against the Green Spikers, 25-15, 25-22, 16-25, 25-21.
The Red Spikers were lackluster in the early moments of the first set but were able to catch up to the Green Spikers going into the technical first timeout. The Red Spikers still trailed the Green Spikers, 8-6. The Red Spikers were not able to continue their comeback and errors were once again their bane, as the Green Spikers ran away with the set winning with a score of 25-15.
A completely rejuvenated Red Spikers took advantage of the second set, leading 8-6 into the first technical timeout. The set remained close as the Red Spikers and Green Spikers traded the lead and tied the score multiple times before the Green Spikers were able to close out the set. The Green Spikers took a two-set lead with a score of 25-22.
A long rally started off the third set, as the Red Spikers gained the first point. The set continued with the Red Spikers and Green Spikers staying close in the points, as the Green Spikers took the lead 8-7 into the first technical timeout. The Red Spikers were able to distance themselves, scoring seven unanswered points. The barrage of points helped the Red Spikers take the third set, 25-16.
The early moments of the fourth set saw the Red Spikers continue their run as they led the Green Spikers 8-6 into the technical timeout. Their early lead came to waste, as the Green Spikers were able to shift the momentum ending the game, winning 25-21.
SBU vs FEU
The Red Spikers remained winless after losing in four sets to the Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraw Spikers with scores of 19-25, 21-25, 25-20, 15-25.
The first set was a neck-and-neck affair with the Tamaraw Spikers gaining the advantage over the Red Spikers by a single point, 8-7, into the first technical timeout. The Red Spikers failed to capitalize as the Tamaraw Spikes ballooned their lead into the latter half of the set. The first set ended in favor of the Tamaraw Spikers, 25-19.
The Red Spikers couldn’t contain the attacks of the Tamaraw Spikers in the second set, allowing 17 points off of attacks. A silver lining for the Red Spikers was their limited errors, committing four compared to nine from the Tamaraw Spikers. The set ended in favor of FEU with a score of 25-21.
After two sets struggling, the Red Spikers were able to take the third set with a score of 25-20. Even though the Tamaraw Spikers were able to outscore the Red Spikers in attacks, it was opponent errors that allowed the Red Spikers to take the set. Mirroring the number of errors of the second set.
The Red Spikers struggled to capitalize after their third-set win, allowing the Tamaraw Spikers to pile up the points through attacks down the middle and miscommunication in terms of digs. The Red Spikers dropped the fourth and final set of the game, 25-15.
SBU vs EAC
A reverse sweep saw the Red Spikers fall against the Emilio Aguinaldo College (EAC) Generals squandering a 2-0 set lead by being defeated in five sets, 25-14, 25-22, 23-25, 17-25, 11-15.
The Red Spikers started the first set strong, leading against the Generals 8-1 into the first technical timeout. Their form continued as the Red Spikers closed out the set with a score of 25-14.
The early moments of the second set saw the Red Spikers struggle to contain the attacks and blocks of the Generals. The Red Spikers trailed 8-7 into the first technical timeout, only gaining the advantage after the second technical timeout of the set. The Red Spikers continued to capitalize on opponent errors as they took the set 25-22.
The third set saw the Red Spikers struggle to contain the attacks of the Generals being outscored by four points, 16-12. The Red Spikers stayed close and traded multiple leads but ultimately failed to close the game. The Generals take the third set 23-25.
The third-set victory of the Generals snowballed into the last two sets as the Generals completed the reverse sweep. Errors became the bane of the Red Spikers in the fourth set, dropping 12 points in favor of the Generals compared to only four in their favor. The final set of the game saw the same from the Red Spikers, giving points off of errors and failing to answer the attacks of the Generals. The generals took the fourth and fifth sets with scores of 17-25 and 11-15.
SBU vs. UST
For their sixth bout the Red Spikers face the league’s top team the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Tiger Spikers, who ended their own elimination round sweeping the Red Spikers in three sets, 25-19, 25-17, 25-23.
The Red Spikers had a great head start with Calabsa getting the open score at the start of the game, along with points coming from the errors made by the opposition with a two-point lead, although it succumbed to the UST Tiger Spikers through their continuous strong and smooth attacks. The first set ended with the Tiger Spikers leading the game with a lead with a six-point lead, with a set score of 25-19 in favor of the España-based team.
In the second set, the Red Spikers were still unable to adjust, with Coach Ariel reminding the team to “play their part and communicate in the court” as they face off the fast adjustment and smooth connection of the setters and attackers play the Tiger Spikers, in the first half of the second set. The Tiger Spikers led the game with an eight-point lead with a set score of 25-17 in favor of the Tiger Spikers.
It was during the third set that both teams were at each other scoring back and forth. The Red Spikers battle for a set point to survive, while the Tiger Spikers putting in the finishing touches to its two-set lead, 25-23, finishing their sweep of the Red Spikers.
SBU vs. NU
Being swept in straight sets, 20-25, 19-25, 16-25, by the National University (NU) Bulldogs, the San Beda Red Spikers capped off their 2023 V-League campaign winless.
The Red Spikers started the first set of the game by opening the score from a long attack by Montemayor, along with a two-point lead from their attacking and defensive efforts. The Bulldogs gained the advantage after the halfway mark of the set through consistent defense and precise ball placement. The first set ended with the Bulldogs taking the lead of the game with a score of 20-25.
The second set saw the Red Spikers start off slow, as their attacks were answered by the defense of the Bulldogs, trailing by two points heading to the first technical timeout. The rest of the second set saw a continuation of the momentum the NU bulldogs were able to gain towards the end of the first set. The Bulldogs take the second set with a six-point lead with a score of 19-25.
It was during the third set that the Red Spikers failed to weather the storm, trailing by five points in the early minutes of the set. The errors of the Red Spikers continued to pile up, as the NU Bulldogs closed out the game confirming San Beda’s winless campaign, 16-25.
The San Beda Red Spikers ended their 2023 V-League Men’s Collegiate Challenge with a record of zero wins and seven losses, finishing in last place for the conference. The Red Spikers seek to improve on these experiences leading up to the 99th season of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in their bid to emulate their first-runer-up finish in the previous season.
(with Mika Isidro)
Photo courtesy of V-League