Nazareth School of National University bested University of Santo Tomas, 21-19, 22-20, in a duel of undefeated teams in the girls' division of the UAAP Season 82 high school beach volleyball tournament Saturday at the Sands SM by the Bay.
The Lady Bullpups were trailing, 18-19, late in the second frame when Epa scored two straight kills to take the lead.
Epa and Chantal Rodriguez then stayed composed against the Junior Tigresses pair of Vanessa Bangayan and Jullana Carreon to steer the Bustillos-based squad to a perfect 3-0 card.
UST lost for the first time in four matches to slip in second place.
De La Salle-Zobel moved up to third at 2-1, as Irah Jaboneta and Gerzel Petallo overcame a slow second set start to beat Ateneo's Celina Vergeire and Ady Lasala, 21-7, 21-17, .
In the lone girls' match that went the distance, Adamson University's Mary Grace Borromeo and Ayesha Juegos rallied from a set down to beat Far Eastern University-Diliman's Nikka Medina and Alexandra Jungco, 17-21, 21-18, 15-10, for a 2-2 card in fourth place.
FEU suffered its second loss in three matches to tie idle University of the East in fifth spot, while Ateneo remained winless in four games.
In the Boys' Division, the Tiger Cubs won two matches to clinch the first Final Four berth.
UST's Jay Rack dela Noche and Alexander Iraya made quick work of De La Salle-Zobel's Andrei Espejo and Leinuel Crisostomo, 21-13, 21-19, and returned in the afternoon with a 21-12, 17-21, 15-12 victory over NSNU's Jann Mark Pijo and Reymark Reyes for a 5-0 record.
FEU-Diliman moved closer in securing a place in the semis as Jerold Talisayan and Carl Cabatac defeated UP Integrated School's Brett Borja and Miguel Castro, 21-14, 21-9, and Adamson University's Jefferson Marapoc and Evander Novillo, 22-20, 21-14. The Baby Tamaraws rose to 4-1.
UE seized solo third at 3-2 as Francis Babon and JM Apolinario outlasted Adamson University's Marapoc and Novillo, 21-15, 16-21, 15-12, and Ateneo's Mikka Mendoza and Anjo Almadro, 21-6, 21-15. Almadro substituted Giulian San Juan in the first set.
Espejo and Crisostomo, who replaced John Lituania earlier in the day, were able to gain a split following a 21-3, 21-7 romp of the Junior Maroons. The Junior Green Spikers forced a four-way tie with the Bullpups, the Blue Eaglets and the Baby Falcons in fourth spot at 2-3.
In the other morning match, NSNU downed Ateneo, 21-10, 21-15.