La Salle holds off FEU, stays on top
De La Salle had no intention of sharing first place after fending off Far Eastern University, 25-17, 21-25, 16-25, 25-20, 15-5, in the UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament Sunday night.
The league-leading defending champions spiked their winning streak to four games and improved to 8-2 securing at least a playoff for a spot in the Final Four.
The Lady Tamaraws, who were in a three-way tie with Ateneo and National University for second place before the duel, crashed to fourth with a 6-4 record.
After scrapping for their lives in the fourth set, the Lady Spikers had a fairly easier route in the fifth set practically kicking down the Lady Tamaraws every step of the way.
Desiree Cheng made a gorgeous off speed shot as she evaded FEU’s defense to give La Salle a 5-0 start and error on the Lady Tamaraws’s side gave the Lady Spikers a 10-4 leading heading into the final third of the fifth set.
La Salle head coach Ramil De Jesus said his veterans Kianna Dy, Mary Joy Baron, and Cheng had to step up in the fifth set after lackluster performances in the second and third set that allowed FEU to take a 2-1 set lead.
“In the second and third sets the veterans went missing, and no one would carry this team but them,” said De Jesus in Filipino. “So when the fourth and fifth set came, they should’ve adjusted to FEU’s play.”
Dy and Baron eventually heeded De Jesus’ calls and proved vital in La Salle’s closeout.
La Salle’s lead ballooned to nine, 13-4, after Dy’s menacing crosscourt kill and Baron finding an open spot for an ace.
Tin Tiamzon joined in the fun scoring of a check ball for La Salle’s 14-5 lead.
Baron and Dy led La Salle’s exploits with 18 points apiece while Cheng and Tiamzon combined for 19.
Bernadeth Pons put up 16 points to lead the Lady Tamaraws with Toni Rose Basas adding 12 of her own.
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