Defending champion Arellano is relaunching its bid for a fourth straight title as the women’s volleyball tournament returns Saturday, June 11, after a two-year lull due to the Covid-19 pandemic in the NCAA Season 97 at the Paco Arena.

Rolling out the red carpet for the new season is the opening ceremony at 10 a.m. before the Lady Chiefs open their title retention bid against the Mapua Lady Cardinals at 12 noon. The College of St. Benilde and San Beda showdown then follows suit at 2:30 p.m.

Arellano was on track on defending its title and completing the four-peat gem in Season 95 after sitting at the second spot of the standing with a 7-1 record. The elimination round was then halted by the Covid-19 pandemic which also put a stop to almost every sporting event in the world last 2020.

Now missing in the Lady Chiefs lineup are their leaders in Season 94 MVP Necole Abuen, outside hitter Regine Arocha and middle blocker Mikaela Juanich but returnees Carla Donato and Princess Bello are ready to fill in the gap.

The Lady Cardinals, however, are out to put a tough stand as they parade an intact lineup that still features Jolina Barbiera, Chenie Batac, and Leslie Bolandrina.

In the second game, the Lady Blazers, who had a perfect 7-0 slate before the Covid-19 pandemic struck in Season 95, look to pick up where they left off as team captain Mycah Go and Gayle Pascual anchor their title bid. Standing on their way though are the new-look Red Lionesses squad led by Francesca Salangsang and Justine Lapid.

Source: Manila Bulletin (