JEM FERRER provided the game-changing moment while Alyssa Valdez delivered the killer blows as league-leading Ateneo rallied from two sets down to nose out National University, 16-25, 30-32, 25-21, 25-13, 15-13, and fan its unbeaten streak to four in the UAAP Season 75 women’s volleyball tournament Saturday night at Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
Shrugging off an ankle injury in the second frame, Ferrer returned in the third set and sparked Ateneo, two sets down, with her playmaking wizardry.
Trailing 1-4 early in the decider, the Lady Eagles watched Valdez take over for the key winning points.
The Lady Bulldogs, who won the first two sets, failed to get a lifeline when Myla Pablo’s attempt was blocked by the tough Ateneo’s defense which spelled NU’s doom.
Earlier, University of Santo Tomas, playing with a sense of urgency, ended a two-game losing spell by trouncing University of the Philippines, 25-18, 25-11, 25-14.
Valdez unloaded 26 of her 28 points from attacks, Fille Cainglet had 14 hits, and Ferrer had 23 excellent sets for Ateneo.
The Lady Bulldogs, led by Pablo with 21 hits, fell in a tie with the Tigresses in fourth place at 2-2.
Maika Ortiz scattered 14 points, including five blocks, and Maru Banaticla broke away from a scoring slump by finishing with 13 hits for UST.
“Maru (Banaticla) stepped up. She is one of our scoring pillars,” said Tigresses mentor Odjie Mamon.
UP, which suffered its third consecutive straight set loss to drop to seventh spot, never recovered in the third frame.