By REYNALD MAGALLON
Arellano began its four-peat bid in a rousing fashion, clobbering Mapua, 25-14, 25-12, 25-21, at the start of the NCAA Season 97 women’s volleyball tournament opener yesterday at the Paco Arena.
The Lady Chiefs showed no signs of rust in their first game after the two-year lull as it pounced on the error-prone Lady Cardinals with Nicole Sasuman and Carla Donato spearheading the attack.
Sasuman unloaded 13 points built on 10 kills and three aces while Donato and veteran player Princess Bello added eight and seven markers respectively. Donnalyn Paralejas also shone for Arellano orchestrating the attack with 11 excellent sets.
“Maganda naman yung result nung game ngayon pero syempre bago pa lang, first game palang kami dapat every game dapat kaming maging ready,” said Arellano head coach Obet Javier.
Arellano went off to a hot start, quickly building a 9-3 advantage following back-to-back aces from Sasuman. The Lady Chiefs kept their feet on the gas pedal in the following sequences as another ace from Charmina Dino secured the first set for the defending champions.
Arellano then showed no letup in the second set as they continued to put pressure on Mapua’s defense with a variety of attacks.
Slowly regaining its form, Mapua showed better resolve in the third set behind the efforts of Chenie Batac and Alyanna Ong as the Lady Cardinals pulled themselves to with two, 23-21.
Donato, however, retaliated with a quick attack before an off-speed from Janice Manuntag to seal the deal for the Lady Chiefs.