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Breaking a four-way tie

By Ivan Saldajeno

After Wednesday night's events, a four-way tie for fourth place took place, and as we enter Matchday 14 for UP, UST, Adamson, and FEU, do expect a wild weekend as they vie for the last seat to the UAAP women's volleyball stepladder playoffs. Before we look at what could take place after Sunday, here are the preliminaries.

Team Standings as of Today (W-L-Pts-Sets Won-Sets Lost-Set Difference)

UP 5-8-17-23-28-(-5)
UST 5-8-17-21-26-(-5)
Adamson 5-8-15-22-27-(-5)
FEU 5-8-15-18-26-(-8)

Matches Remaining

Saturday
2:00 PM-UST vs. UE
4:00 PM-Adamson vs. FEU

Sunday
4:00 PM-UP vs. NU

A spoiler: the Adamson-FEU match on Saturday is a knockout one. Whoever loses is out of contention, while the other team could still make the playoffs outright. In fact, I will get you there first.

1. If UE, Adamson, and NU win, Adamson will clinch the last playoff seat.
2. If UE, FEU, and NU win, FEU will clinch the last playoff seat.

The next scenarios are the ones with a high probability of happening.

3. If UST, Adamson, and NU win, UST and Adamson will battle for the last slot.
4. If UST, FEU, and NU win, UST and FEU will battle for the last slot.

UP, which is running fourth on points and sets won as it stands, can still make the playoffs, but only if either of these happens.

5. If UE, Adamson, and UP win, Adamson and UP will battle for the last slot.
6. If UE, FEU, and UP win, FEU and UP will battle for the last slot.

Now here's where things will get more complicated. A three-way tie for fourth could happen after Sunday, and that is...

7. If UST and UP win, UST and UP will tie the Adamson-FEU winner.

Guess what. That will make the stepladder playoffs an even longer one, because there will be a playoff for fifth place, and that will depend on how UP will beat NU.

 7a. If UP wins in straight sets, UST and the Adamson-FEU winner face off in the battle for fifth, with the winner facing UP in the battle for fourth.
 7b. Otherwise, UP and the Adamson-FEU winner face off in the battle for fifth, with the winner facing UST in the battle for fourth.

In summary, the winner of the Adamson-FEU game can get through the playoffs without more sweat. A UST or UP win will expand the stepladder playoffs by forcing a battle for fourth. A win by both teams will also force a battle for fifth.