And then there were two.
After almost two months of thrilling action featuring the best collegiate volleyball teams in the country, the Shakey’s Super League Preseason Collegiate Tournament is down to its last two teams. The NU Lady Bulldogs and DLSU Lady Spikers are set to meet in the gold medal match this Saturday, November 19, in a rematch of the UAAP Season 84 Women’s Volleyball Finals.
It’s a fitting conclusion to a tournament that was dominated by the two schools, with the Lady Bulldogs being the only undefeated team and the Lady Spikers losing just once in their run to the Finals. NU dominated La Salle in the teams’ meeting in the UAAP Finals last June, winning both matches in straight sets on their way to their first championship in 65 years. But a revamped Lady Spikers squad wants to write a different ending this time and claim the distinction of being the first Shakey’s Super League champions.
The Lady Bulldogs remained unscathed in the tournament after defeating the upstart UST Golden Tigresses in the semifinals in four sets, 25-23, 23-25, 25-21, 25-17, last Friday to book their place in the Finals. After dropping the second set to the Golden Tigresses, NU atoned and won the next two sets to preserve their unbeaten record and become the first team to enter the Finals.
Reigning UAAP Rookie-MVP Bella Belen led NU with a game-high 24 points, while UAAP Best Opposite Spiker Alyssa Solomon finished with 19 points and was named as MVP of the Match. Princess Robles and Erin Pangilinan added 15 points apiece, while Sheena Toring chipped in with 12 points for the Lady Bulldogs, which looks to complete another undefeated run to the championship as they did in the UAAP.
The Lady Spikers, meanwhile, had a more challenging route to the Finals, and needed five sets to defeat the Adamson Lady Falcons in their semifinal match, 25-16, 18-25, 25-23, 22-25, 15-8. Thea Gagate was unstoppable for La Salle, finishing with 27 points built on 18 attacks, five blocks, and four service aces, while Alleiah Malaluan carried the load for the Lady Spikers in the all-important fifth set and added 12 points. Rookie Angel Canino, meanwhile, was brilliant for the Lady Spikers, especially in the first three sets as she finished with 20 points.
They may have taken different roads to the Finals, but the result is still a dream matchup of two of the best collegiate volleyball teams for the right to be named as the inaugural Shakey’s Super League champions.
The Finals of the Shakey’s Super League between the Lady Bulldogs and Lady Spikers will take place this Saturday, November 19, 4:30 p.m. at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum. Tickets for the game can be purchased at the venue or at https://shakeys.ticketmax.ph
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