Two years of drought are finally over. The infused cluster of Stags has added to their medal tally after emerging as this year’s Palarong Atenista Women’s Volleyball championship.
After a four-set game in a best of five match against Business and Management (B&M) Vipers, the Stags, composed of Natural Science and Mathematics (NSM), School of Education (SOE), and School of Nursing (SON), unified to secure the gold, 25-18, 12-25, 26-24, 25-17.
Stags Captain Karissa Renee Parcon dominated the game, eventually leading to Stags’ historic victory.
“We’re just having fun during the game. No pressure,” she said.
Veronica Ang of the Stags earned the very first point of the game through an attack block against the Vipers. Long rallies between the two teams got the spectators on the edge of their seats. An unusual kick save from Stags’ Jay Anne Abendan also made its appearance.
The biggest lead of the first set was 16-3, in favor of the Stags, which gradually decreased to 24-17. However, Vipers’ Labrador spiked rather strongly, sending the ball away to end the match, 25-17.
Little does everyone know that the Vipers are only warming up since the second set and the Vipers have finally found their right footing.
As much as the Vipers took the initiative to correct their poor service and reception, the Stags, on the other hand, started to slow down the pace of their game, ending the second set with a disappointing 12-25, in favor of the Vipers.
The first part of the third set was on the Vipers’ as Marielle Guiral fed the Stags with multiple solid attacks but the Vipers struggled to keep their momentum as Abendan and Parcon contributed through service aces and unexpected off-speed spikes.
Stirring the whole seventh floor Martin Hall, the Stags and Vipers played an extended game after a 24-24 because of an over-the-line service made by Parcon. Again, Parcon delivered a kill ending the game, 26-24.
The fourth set started as a close race between the two teams but the Stags’ determination and perseverance to end the game prevailed, 25-17.
“Thankful ako sa teammates ko kahit na hindi masyado kami nakapractice at minsan baka maannoy sila sa akin kasi nagademand ako ng time para magpractice pero nagapractice pa rin sila with me. Thankful talaga ako,” Parcon said.
NSM Cluster Rep. Jorge Erediano was overcome by emotions after the match, sharing that he was proud of the cluster’s players.
“I feel overwhelmed kasi hindi namin inexpect na aabot kami ng championship and you know, knowing na we’ve started like underdogs. Even last year pa lang, hindi talaga recognized ang Stags because always kaming hindi nasasali sa top three,” Eredian expressed.
On the other hand, SOE Cluster Rep. Ysa Dumandan emphasized the capability of their players to remain resilient.
“Ilang mindset — it fixes everything. Naa lang mi as background. It’s their mindset jud and their trust in the Lord jud,” she said.
“We believe in ourselves kahit first time namin makapasok sa finals,” Stags Coach Reya Orcajada added.
Last year, B&M Vipers placed first runner up after losing against the Accountancy Griffins. Now, the victory of Stags did not only made history for the cluster but also broke the Griffins’ 9-peat dynasty.