NU denies Ateneo, bags third men’s volleyball crown

The National University Bulldogs upended the reigning champs Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles in a thrilling four set victory, 25-20, 31-29, 22-25, 33-31, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, Wednesday afternoon.

NU returns to the top of UAAP Men’s Volleyball ladder once again after four years. Prized fourth-year hitter Bryan Bagunas was adjudged as the Finals MVP. He averaged 22.5 markers in the the two-game sweep.

The Bulldogs got off to a hot start as they led all throughout the first set. A mishit by Janjan Rivera put the Bulldogs at set point before a Madz Gampong hit to seal the opening frame, 25-20. Eagles gifted more free points to the Bulldogs as they tallied 10 errors as opposed to NU’s seven.

It was an extended affair in the second set. The Eagles were down by as much as six points but were able to force a deuce.

It was a close battle in the latter part of set but a costly service error from Espejo and a NU block rewarded the second set to the Bulldogs, 31-29.

In a much better showing, the Blue Eagles prevented a sweep as Espejo found his rhythm to take the third set, 22-25.

It was nip-and-tuck battle in the fourth set. The Bulldogs logged five straight points to take the lead, 20-18.

James Natividad delivered the killer blow to put NU at championship point, 32-31. Ron Medalla came up with an attack error to seal the championship in favor of NU.