FOR the second time, the SJI High School Varsity and Team 70s/80s face each other in the finals on September 4, Saturday at 2:30 p.m. for the 2nd SJI Alumni Volleybelles Friendship Cup at Msgr. John B. Liu Activities Center.
SJI earlier defeated Team 90s, 25-9, 25-19, 20-25, 25-19 while Team 70s/80s won over Team 2k, 25-21, 25-22, 16-25, 25-17 to arrange a finals showdown.
In consolation, Team 90s was able to achieve what no alumni team has ever done, winning a set against the formidable High School Varsity squad.
During the first 2 sets, the Varsity dominated the game behind the attacks from siblings Kim and Camille Gequillana, JuraIie Lio, Rosel Sy and tosser Samantha Araneta.
However, in the 3rd set with score tied at 17-all, Sy made 3 straight attacks giving the Varsity a 20-18 lead, But Team 90s kept its composure and racked up 6 straight pts. to surprise the varsity and take the set on the collective effort of Jhonna Rogacion, Katrina Lacson and Padjie Romero with Michelle Ditching setting up.
In the 4th set, Team 90 continued the rally heading an early 11-7 lead, but the varsity quickly caught up at 14-all behind Sy and Kim Gequillana smashing attacks. As the offense of Team 90s sputtered, a Kim Gequillana kill including 3 straight service winners gave the Varsity a 22-16 lead.
Team 90's Amber Aguilar set up a Merlouine Gayondato back to back smashed, including a Lacson kill cutting the lead to 4, but a Sy attack and Lacson error spike sealed the game for the Varstiy.
On the other hand, Team 70s/80s won the first 2 sets in a similar come from behind fashion after Team 2k taking a 19-15 lead during the 1st set and 19-14 in the 2nd set .
Team 70s/80s fought back behind a solid reception and defense including the variant attacks of the spikers on pinpoint setups by Rosario Araneta and Cynthia Causing confusing Team 2k defense.
In the 3rd set, Team 2k made they earned space as they blasted 9 straight pts. scored from the service winners of Isabelle Juson and spikes and tip-ins by Kathleen Tan to establish a 22-8 lead .
Jessica Plana, Liza Calangan and Ione Cornejo rallied Team 70s/80s to cut the lead 24-16, but Stephanie Maapni Ong net return won the set for 2k.
Kathleen Tan spikes and blocks gave the 70s/80s problems in the early set, but the pinpoint set up by setter Causing on spikers Lizette Tamayo, Plana, Cornejo and Hera Mirano push the 70/80s to a 16-12 lead.
Team 70s/80s continued to apply pressure on the defense of 2k as the front liners delivered different spiking placement extending the lead to 22-13.
Sisters Catherine and Carmela Suarez together with Juson attacks via an Ong setup drew 2k closer at 24-17, but Tamayo spiked at the gap sealed the finals seat for Team 70s/80s. (Jerome S. Galunan Jr./with reports from Stephen Tan)