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ISAA 14 volleyball: Breakthrough women’s title for UA&P, overwhelm ICCT Colleges in Game 3


By Ricky Manliguis

University of Asia and the Pacific made history by winning their first women’s volleyball title in the Inter-Scholastic Athletic Association (ISAA) after turning back ICCT Colleges in four sets, 25-18, 25-20, 25-27, 25-18, in the winner-take-all Game 3 June 15 at the Manila Adventist College (MAC) gym in Pasay City.

Season MVP Ica Quisel delivered the killer blows down the stretch, while also banking on key contributions from her teammates as the Lady Dragons doused cold water on the spirited comeback by the Lady Blue Dragons for the team’s maiden title in the ISAA in just their first year of joining.

Averaging double-digit scoring in each of the three games, the graduating captain Quisel was later named the Finals MVP of the series.  

After taking a 2-0 set lead, the girls in red and gold were at set point in the third set, 24-22, but ICCT crawled back behind hits from Christine Del Valle, Christine Espinar, and Mandy Villas, with the latter unleashing an off the block hit that extended the game to a fourth frame.

ICCT was aggressive in the fourth, even taking an 11-8 lead on a Del Valle attack. But that was the Lady Blue Dragon’s last hurrah, as Quisel teamed up with Rinoa Valderama, Antoneth Cabales, and setter Erica Anne Dimapilis in a 12-6 scoring burst to take a 20-17 cushion.      

Four unforced errors by ICCT dragged UA&P into championship point, 24-18, setting the stage for Quisel’s down-the-line banger that Richelle Opinga failed to handle for the title.

“It was the same game plan all throughout, we just wanted to be consistent from the very beginning. Medyo nawala lang kami nung endgame nung third set, but we continued to follow the system,” said UA&P coach Joyce Palad at post-game.

“The girls are very good, kaya nilang bumalik, and nagtiwala ako sa kanila na makakabalik sila. So we didn’t change anything, we just wanted them to follow the system, to continue what they’re doing good, and to play better.”

The former UP Lady Maroon and Creamline Cool Smasher, who became UA&P coach in January 2020, also pointed out the significance of the title win while also paying tribute to her veterans, whom she described as “kind and coachable.”  

“It’s our first time joining (the ISAA), kaya it’s very special for everybody kasi yung seniors namin yung talagang tinamaan nung pandemic, so it’s been a while playing and finally winning a championship for UA&P.”

“When I started with them, our season run was halted due to the pandemic. Rookies sila noon nung pumasok ako sa UA&P. Players like Ica, Tin Se, Andy Magcalas, sila yung mga inabutan ko, and those three were the pillars of the team coming back from the pandemic. We really wanted to get that win for them (the veterans) because they deserve it after what they have been through.”  

It was a sorry loss for ICCT, as the team’s only three losses in the tournament were inflicted by UA&P. The second-place finish in volleyball replicated the achievement of the senior’s basketball squad earlier in the month.

The game was delayed for a few minutes in the first set with UA&P leading 23-18, after the magnitude 6.3 earthquake rocked Metro Manila and nearby areas.    


Follow him on Twitter: @Teaching_Hero

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