UAAP WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL TOURNAMENT: ADAMSON SWEEPS ATENEO, SOLIDIFIES HOLD OF 2ND SPOT
WORKING like a well-oiled machine, Adamson went on and completed a rare first elimination round head-to-head sweep of Ateneo in 14 years and cemented its hold of the second spot with a clinical 25-23, 25-17, 26-24 victory in the UAAP women's volleyball tournament at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Saturday.
WORKING like a well-oiled machine, Adamson went on and completed a rare first elimination round head-to-head sweep of Ateneo in 14 years and cemented its hold of the second spot with a clinical 25-23, 25-17, 26-24 victory in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Saturday.
Adamson needed only to recover from the Blue Eagles’ successful challenge on an initial call that Faith Nisperos’ spike went outside, and soon Trisha Tubu and Lucille Almonte delivered the dagger kills for the Lady Falcons to survive the extended third set.
“We used the timeout, and then meron pa naman isang puntos bago sila mag-tie so I’m trying to relay na walang pressure, lalaro lang, relax,” said Adamson coach Jerry Yee.
Kate Santiago delivered 18 important points, spiced with three service aces, and nine digs while Tubu added 17 points including two blocks, for the Lady Falcons.
With the win, Adamson improved to 7-3, one game up over National University, which rediscovered its winning ways with a 25-21, 27-25, 25-20 conquest of the University of the Philippines, and the University of Santo Tomas.
The Lady Falcons also drew huge games from Lorene Toring, who scored nine points, Lucille Almonte, who had eight points, 16 receptions, and eight digs, and substitute middle blocker Aprylle Tagsip, who contributed seven points.
It was the first time Adamson swept Ateneo in the eliminations since the 2008-09 season, the last time the Katipunan-based side missed the Final Four.
Reigning MVP Mhicaela Belen produced 19 points and 11 receptions while Cess Robles chipped in 11 points as the Lady Bulldogs completed an elimination round head-to-head sweep of the Fighting Maroons and improve to 6-3.
In men’s play, titleholder NU recovered from a rough patch in the third set to subdue winless UP, 25-14, 25-18, 23-25, 25-21, and remain perfect in nine matches.
It may be not the prettiest of a win, as proved by their struggles in the extended second set, but the Lady Bulldogs were glad to get the job done of sweeping the Fighting Maroons.
“Kanina kasi sabi ko sa kanila nung first round four sets kami ng UP so nagset kami ng goal na kailangan this time straight sets lang kung kaya,” said Robles on NU’s sixth win in nine games to level with University of Santo Tomas for the third and fourth spots.
Alyssa Bertolano led the Fighting Maroons with 12 points and 13 receptions, Nica Celis had three blocks for an 11-point outing while Niña Ytang added 10 points, including two blocks.
UP stumbled to its sixth consecutive loss and the eighth overall in nine matches.
The Blue Eagles saw their two-match winning streak end to drop to a 3-6 card in the sixth spot, three games out of the No. 4 slot.
Despite the tremendous odds of making it to the Final Four, coach Oliver Almadro remains positive of Ateneo’s chances of maintaining the streak that started in the 2009-10 season.
“Nothing is impossible. We have to keep the faith and keep on working hard,” said Almadro.
Faith Nisperos led the Blue Eagles with 17 points, while Vanie Gandler added 10 points. Libero Roma Mae Doromal collected 15 digs and nine receptions.
Louis Gamban towed the Fighting Maroons in extending the match before the Bulldogs came alive in the fourth, fending off their foes’ rally from 18-24 down to close out the match in one hour and 56 minutes.
“Sabi ko balik lang tayo kasi talagang tinrabaho ng UP yung third set talaga, although doon sa third set na yun kami yung nagkulang talaga. Sabi ko nga sa players ko bumalik lang kung anong ginawa natin nung first and second sets ituloy lang natin at kailangan maging agresibo pa tayo sa ginagawa natin,” said NU coach Dante Alinsunurin.
Nico Almendras led the way for the Bulldogs with 19 points, 13 receptions, and five digs, Kenry Malinis had six blocks for a 17-point outing while Buddin tallied 12 points.