UP shocks La Salle in 3
Out to end a 35-year wait for a championship, University of the Philippines reinforced its title credentials with a swift and merciless demolition of defending champion La Salle last Thursday in the UAAP Season 79 women’s volleyball tournament at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The 25-22, 25-21, 25-19 triumph not only extended the Lady Maroons’ unbeaten start to three games, but was also indicative of their improvement the past few years.
“The girls know what they are capable of achieving this year,” said assistant coach Rald Ricafort. “They know that they are the more experienced team. They were focused on reading La Salle’s plays.”
Earlier, University of Santo Tomas turned back University of the East, 25-9, 25-22, 25-23, for its first win of the season.
Marivic Meneses, EJ Laure and Cherry Rondina combined for 37 hits as the Tigresses finally broke through the win column after starting their campaign with back-to-back losses, while sending UE to its third straight defeat.
The Lady Maroons ended a 16-game losing skid against the Lady Spikers, with their last victory over the Taft-based team actually coming in 2008 via a technicality.
De La Salle forfeited all of its second round matches in that season since one of its players, Jacqueline Alarca, was deemed ineligible.
While this was considered as a weaker La Salle team compared to last season when it bagged the title behind Mika Reyes, Ara Galang and Cyd Demecillo, UP, which reached the Final Four last year, did put together a performance to remember, finishing strong late in sets to keep its unblemished record.
The Lady Maroons have yet to drop a set in their first three matches of the season, while the Lady Spikers lost for the first time in three outings.
An attacking error from La Salle’s Ernestine Tiamzon sealed the victory for UP in an hour and 18 minutes, after the Lady Maroons reached match point on a kill from Nicole Tiamzon.