Far Eastern U checked an early struggle with a dominating showing in the last two sets as it rolled past Jose Rizal U, 28-26, 25-14, 25-16, to bolster its Final Four drive in the PVL Collegiate Conference on Wednesday at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan.
The Lady Tams, playing sans top hitter Bernadeth Pons, groped for form after coming off an 11-day break, stumbling against the game Lady Bombers in the opening frame. But they pulled through just the same in a deuce game then imposed their strength in the next two to complete the straight-set victory.
It was FEU’s third win against a loss as it tied idle Ateneo at second behind NU’s 4-0 mark.
The Lady Bulldogs and the Eagles dispute the first semis berth in Group A of the two-division tournament organized by Sports Vision and backed by Mikasa and Asics on Saturday.
The Lady Tams, on the other hand, close out their elims campaign against the Lyceum Lady Pirates on Monday.
Victories by NU and FEU will net them the semis slots while an Ateneo win coupled with the Lady Tams’ victory will force a three-way for first at 4-1, necessitating a playoff.
FEU, which played without Pons who is in Singapore for the Southeast Asian Beach Volleyball Championships, survived a set point at 25-26 on a Toni Rose Basas blast that went long.
But the Lady Tams, who dropped a four-set setback to the Lady Bulldogs two weeks ago, took the next three points – and the set – on JRU’s miscues – a Shola Alvarez faulty serve, a Dolly Versoza mishit and a net violation.
It was all FEU show in the next two sets.
Behind Basas’ 15 hits, the Lady Tams overpowered the Bombers in spikes, 41-18, and feasted on their rivals’ sloppy service reception with nine aces.
Alvarez scored nine points for JRU, which closed out its maiden commercial league campaign with a 0-5 card.
Earlier, UST repelled St. Benilde, 25-21, 25-20, 23-25, 25-22, to stay at No. 4 at 3-3 in the men’s division of the tournament backed by Mikasa and Asics.
Ousted University of the Philippines, on the other hand, stymied La Salle’s own semis bid as it hacked out a 25-22, 22-25, 27-25, 25-23 decision. The Archers dropped to fifth with a 3-4 card.
Ateneo (6-0) and Far Eastern U (5-1) took the first two semis berth with National U in third with a 3-2 slate.