Lady Eagles soar to third straight victory; Lady Spikers back in orbit after first loss
Whether it was a defending champion brought back to earth or a perennial finalist finally steadying itself after a shaky start, flight was an operative word in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament Wednesday.
La Salle rocketed back in orbit, while Ateneo sustained its rise after the rival schools bested their opponents at FilOil Flying V Centre.
Ateneo hacked out a thrilling 25-18, 14-25, 25-18, 15-25, 15-10 victory over Adamson for its third win in a row after losing its first two games of the season.
Jho Maraguinot totaled 15 points, while Maddie Madayag and last year’s Rookie of the Year Jules Samonte accounted for 14 points each for the Lady Eagles.
Samonte punished Adamson skipper Jema Galanza with a through-the-block kill for Ateneo’s 11-8 lead in the deciding set then followed it up with another kill this time on Lea Perez for a 12-9 margin.
The Lady Falcons suffered their second straight defeat for a 2-3 record.
“We tried to show that we can deliver in a tight situation like a five-set match,” said Madayag, who preserved the win with a kill block off Adamson’s Chiara Permentilla.
“I think we really showed that we are capable of outing up a fight, compared to the other games we played,” added Madayag. “The scores were really close and the young players really stepped up today.”
More importantly, it put the Lady Eagles back on course after opening the season on back-to-back losses.
“We’re slowly improving and slowly getting our game back,” said Madayag.
The Lady Spikers didn’t need to go through much of a wringer, dusting off their loss to National U by crushing University of the East, 25-18, 25-17, 25-20—with Aduke Ogunsanya typifying La Salle’s aggressiveness from start to finish.
She wound up with 12 points, including nine attacks, while team captain Majoy Baron added 10 points for the defending champions.
“We really wanted to come back after that loss (to National University) and we had tough training and practice and really pushed ourselves,” added the Filipino-Nigerian middle blocker, who was raised in Iloilo.
But even the rousing performance failed to calm the alarm in coach Ramil de Jesus.
“The result is important but as for the performance, I’m quite dissatisfied because I couldn’t see the aggressiveness on the court,” said De Jesus in Filipino. “When they saw that we had a big lead and the win was within reach they became quite complacent.”
Newly appointed starting setter Michelle Cobb cleared the path for Ogunsanya and Baron by tossing 35 excellent sets which kept the Lady Spikers’ offence on full tilt.
It was La Salle’s fourth win in five matches as it handed UE’s fifth defeat in as many outings.
Me-Ann Mendrez and Shaya Adorador accounted for 19 points total for UE which failed to get support from the rest of the team. —WITH A REPORT FROM BONG LOZADA, INQUIRER.NET
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