Photo from: SMM Volleyball

NAKHON PATHOM, THAILAND — The Akari-Philippines U18 Women’s Volleyball Team wasted no time getting back on the winning track, fending off Australia in four sets, 25-16, 25-23, 21-25, 25-19, in the 22nd Princess Cup Women’s U18 SEA Volleyball Championship at the Nakhon Pathom Municipal Gymnasium, Tuesday.

Team captain Herlyn Serneche powered the Philippines with 18 points made from 13 attacks, three aces, and two aces. Outside hitter Kimberly Rubin tallied 12 points including 10 attacks and two aces, while middle blocker Lianne Penuliar and outside spiker Denesse Daylisan added nine points each.

Lara Maric led Australia with 16 points composed of 12 attacks, three blocks, and one ace, while 6’4 middle blocker Anni Tang and skipper Matisse Conlon scored 14 and 13 points, respectively.

After dominating the first set, the Philippines had to dig deep in the second frame. Australia was well on its way to tying the match as it led 23-19, but the Pinays showed resilience and unleashed a 6-0 run to steal the set.

Looking to finish the match in three sets, the Philippines led by five early on in the third canto, but it was the Aussies’ turn to rally as they capitalized on the Filipinas’ crucial errors late in the set, extending the match to a fourth.

Akari-Philippines, realizing that they had let the third set slip away, regained their composure and put away Australia for good behind the scoring duo of Serneche and Rubin in the fourth set.

The Philippines improved to a 3-1 win-loss slate and will face Indonesia in a crucial match on Wednesday, June 12 at 12:30 p.m. (Manila time) to conclude the single round-robin. The winner will face Thailand, the top-ranked team, for the championship.

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