MANILA, Philippines – Defending champion De La Salle has been on a roll since losing to University of Santo Tomas back in the opener of UAAP Season 75 women’s volleyball tournament.
And it showed as Lady Archers exacted revenge on the Golden Tigresses, 30-28, 25-15, 25-19, Saturday at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
Sophomore spiker Ara Galang led the way for the Lady Archers, who rolled to their eighth straight win, with 20 points on 14 attacks, four blocks and two service aces.
“The goal was really to finish the match in just three sets,” said Galang, who scored on a variety of attacks including a crafty left-hand tip switching hands in mid-air to fool UST’s blockers.
At first, the Tigresses were primed to prove their grueling five-set win was no fluke after clawing back from seven points down in the first set to go on the hill, 24-23, after getting a free point on a service error by Abigail Maraño.
La Salle managed to extend the opening set after Mika Reyes stopped Maru Banaticla’s set-seizing spike, 24-all.
UST blew three chances to take the first set. Its last chance came after Galang’s service went out, 26-25.
Galang though, atoned for her costly mistakes in the end, scoring to hold off UST’s rally, 30-28, after Judy Caballejo’s spike was too strong.
After surviving the scare, La Salle regrouped as UST lost its steam in the ensuing sets.
“UST’s played good defensively but they weren’t able to receive well in the end,” said DLSU head coach Ramil de Jesus, whose team won in straight sets despite committing 14 unforced errors in the first set.
Banaticla and Carmela Tunay tried to carry the Tigresses and stretch the match to a fourth set. Banaticla sparked a strong UST showing in the early part of the third set while Tunay kept it afloat, 12-10.
But it was De La Salle’s turn to come back.
La Salle broke loose from a 16-deadlock behind solid net defense anchored by Michelle Gumabao and reigning MVP Maraño, who finished with seven blocks to end up with 12 markers. The Lady had eight blocks alone in the second set.
La Salle on the other hand, enhanced its chances to finish atop the standings after improving to 8-1.
Tunay had a team-high nine points. UST slipped to a fifth-place tie with National University with similar 5-4 slates.
FEU (6-4), winners of five in a row, moved to third place while Adamson (5-3) is in solo fourth.