THE University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) Baby Jaguars gained sweet revenge upon the SHS-Ateneo de Cebu Magis Eagles, as the team captured the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) high school girls volleyball title with a clean 25-16, 25-20, 25-23 sweep on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023, at the University of San Carlos gym.
The emphatic victory was payback for Ateneo de Cebu’s defeat of USJ-R in the finals last season.
While the first set was all USJ-R, the second set was a different story as the Magis Eagles stayed within striking distance of its foes and were down by only one, 16-15. However, USJ-R’s Angel Tecson, who was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the tournament, carried the fight for the Baby Jaguars, helping them to pull away and eventually grab the set for a 2-0 set lead.
The third set saw USJ-R players assert themselves early and take a huge 16-6 lead. But Ateneo de Cebu showed grit and trimmed the deficit to just one, 24-23. However, the Baby Jaguars refused to budge and captured the set, the game, and the championship after Angel Mae Almonia scored the game-ending point.
Meanwhile, USJ-R’s boys squad completed the golden double for the school as it defeated the University of Cebu (UC) Baby Webmasters, 25-17, 25-23, 25-27, and 29-27.
It was an incredible match wherein both teams showed both determination and resiliency. Despite being down two sets, UC fought back to take the third and built a 20-13 lead in the fourth set. However, USJ-R were determined to end the game in the fourth, which it did, thanks to the exploits of Marc Tangon, who was deemed the tournament’s MVP.