Ateneo, DLSU trim volley foes
Ateneo and La Salle kept their tight hold of the top two spots after surviving a tough challenge from resurgent teams yesterday in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at Filoil Flying V Arena.
The Lady Eagles weathered National University’s stubborn stand to hack out a 25-18, 25-21, 25-22 decision and streak to an eighth straight victory.
Alyssa Valdez tallied a game-high 20 points, the last two on a cross-court kill and a service ace that put the Lady Eagles at match point versus a resilient NU side now mentored by former Ateneo coach Roger Gorayeb.
“We were under him for three years and we [felt emotional] seeing him on the other side,” Valdez said of Gorayeb, who steered the Lady Eagles to the Finals in previous years before Thai coach Tai Bundit took over last season.
Earlier, the Lady Spikers rose from a set down to roll back the surprisingly tough-as-nut University of the Philippines Lady Maroons, 25-27, 25-20, 25-23, 25-10, to raise their record to 8-1.
Christine Soyud proved to be effective in her new role as she tossed in 16 points, 13 off attacks, to backstop La Salle star Ara Galang’s 14-point outing.
“We were surprised that she performed well,” La Salle coach Ramil de Jesus said of Soyud, whom he converted from utility to open hitter.
The Lady Bulldogs, back as contenders after Gorayeb took over late in the first round, gave the Lady Eagles no easy set before slipping to a third-best 4-4 card.
Just when the Lady Eagles seemed set to pull away at 16-10 in the third frame, the Lady Bulldogs rallied within 21-20, behind Jaja Santiago.
But Valdez, the leading MVP contender, came to the rescue anew by scoring two of Ateneo’s next three points, 24-22, before a service error by NU’s Myla Pablo ended the match.
The Lady Maroons fell into a tie at 4-5 with Far Eastern University, which clipped University of the East, 25-16, 25-17, 22-25, 25-18, last Saturday.
Bernadeth Pons and Remy Palma, who combined for 25 points, helped the Lady Tamaraws regain focus as the winless Lady Warriors snatched the third frame to win a set for the first time this season.
Rookie EJ Laure also played her best game yet to finish with 19 points and power University of Santo Tomas to a 25-19, 25-16, 23-25, 25-15 win over Adamson.
UST tied Adamson at 3-5.