In the end, there is no denying Arellano University a three-peat feat.
Showing grit and experience, the Lady Chiefs ended the University of Perpetual Help System Dalta Lady Altas’ fairy tale run with a 22-25, 25-15, 25-18, 25-18 victory on Tuesday to clinch a third straight title in the 94th NCAA women’s volleyball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
Regine Anne Arocha fired a match-best 16 points including five on service aces to help power the Lady Chiefs to a 2-1 series win over the Lady Altas, their third championship in row and fourth overall in the last five seasons.
It was an effort that also won Arocha her second straight Finals MVP plum.
Princess Bello scattered 12 hits while the power-spiking Nicole Ebuen, the newly-crowned season MVP, drilled in 11 points, all coming on kills.
AU displayed championship experience specifically in Game Two last Friday when it recovered from a fourth-set meltdown to escape with a thrilling 23-25, 25-9, 25-18, 22-25, 15-12 victory that knotted the series at one game apiece and force a deciding game.
UPHSD, which stole the series opener on Feb. 1, 21-25, 25-17, 25-21, 25-20, gained the early headway in the sudden death when it took the opening set.
But it turned out its last show of force as Arocha and AU took charge from their and dictated the pace.
That denied the Las Pinas-based school its first title since winning a three-peat of its own six seasons ago and a rare triple kill.
UPHSD, which swept both the men’s and juniors divisions, however, could console itself with the fact that it came that close to joining former league member Ateneo and San Sebastian in the rare club of accomplishing a triple crown.