SMS spikers rule 2015 Loyola Cup volleyball

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Thursday, March 26, 2015


SINCE their participation in the regional Shakey’s Girls Volleyball, local fans left no doubt for St. Mary’s School’s volleybelles to scale greater heights.

In their maiden show in the 2015 Loyola Cup inter-school volleyball, the SMS lady spikers of coach Rizalito Abut and assistant coach Ian Zapanta overcame archrival and host Xavier University High School of coach Angeliz Anoos in the semifinals via a thrilling third-set squeaker.

In the finals, the SMS Fiat went again into the deciding fifth set to beat the equally-determined wards of coach Bong Rameri for the secondary girls title of the annual tourney concluded in Cagayan de Oro City recently at the backcourt of XU campus.

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“Grabe ka thrilling, namugnaw ko. Mas maayo pa nga kita ang magdula kaysa mag coach,” a still overwhelmed Zapanta later told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro.

The Voyagers (Pilgrim Christian College High School) took the first set, but the SMS Fiat quickly retaliated to secure the second and third sets.

Coach Rameri, who made it to the finals despite having a relatively undersize roster of players, made an adjustment that resulted in Pilgrim winning the fourth set.

Locking horns in the deciding fifth, the Fiat raced to a 10-6 lead. But working effectively on their ground defense, the Voyagers managed to tie the score at 12-all. A spine-tingling see-saw match ensued when SMS made it 14-12 and Pilgrim fought back to inch closer at 13-14.

“Dili masabtan among gibati sa bench kay in a five-set championship game taman ra sa 15 ang pandaug unya nakadikit sila,” said Zapanta.

Although tournament MVP Erika Raagas was always in the frontline of SMS attack, it was Abbe San Juan’s well-timed spike off the net from a perfect Kiara Cruz pass that sealed the final set at 15-13.

As San Juan soared from the left corner and dropped the killer right-hand smash -- uncontested, an on-court SMS jubilation broke out.

“It was Abbe’s final year with the SMS volleyball. That’s for sure a great memory to go along with her graduation,” coach Abut said.

San Juan and Cruz were adjudged as best blocker and best setter, respectively, while teammate Shoona Rosios got the best libero citation.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on March 27, 2015.

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