NU beats FEU to stay alive for semis spot

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MANILA, Philippines – National University kept its Final Four bid going after whipping Far Eastern University, 25-19, 25-12, 25-18, Saturday in the UAAP Season 75 women’s volleyball tournament at the Arena in San Juan.

NU’s fate though, is now at the hands of Ateneo, which battles University of Santo Tomas on Sunday.

“Kung mananalo UST sa Ateneo, wala tayong magagawa, that’s the result, hindi natin maiiwasan yan. Kung manalo ang Ateneo, paghahandaan namin ng mabuti ang UST,” said NU head coach Francis Vicente.

A win by the Tigresses, who are currently tied with Adamson in the third and fourth spots, over the Lady Eagles would boot the Lady Bulldogs out of semifinals contention while an Ateneo victory will set up a playoff between UST and NU for the last semis slot on Wednesday.

The Lady Bulldogs played the way a team, fighting for survival, should.

NU got off to a strong start in the first two sets as FEU, which is already out of the semifinals race, looked flat.

The Lady Tamaraws, who finished the elimination round with a 6-8 mark, showed fight in the third set to even take a 17-16 lead on a score by Wenneth Eulalio.

NU regained the advantage on a block by Ivy Perez and never looked back with Dindin Santiago and Cai Nepomuceno anchoring a 6-0 run that put FEU away.

Nepomuceno converted on a kill after a drop by Gyzelle Sy to make it, 20-18.

Things couldn’t get any better for the Lady Tamaraws after a miscommunication on a reception ended a long rally that extended the Lady Bulldogs lead to five, 23-18. One of three blocks by Siemen Dadang put NU at match point before another block this time by Nepomuceno sealed the win.

Nepomuceno tallied a game-high 18 points while Santiago chipped in 11 markers with four service aces.

FEU (6-8) led early in the third set, 8-4, before NU (8-6) came back to take the upper hand on an error by Rosemarie Vargas, 11-10.

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