La Salle snaps Ateneo’s streak, nabs 9th UAAP title
De La Salle University is back on top of the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament after dismantling defending champions Ateneo, 19-25, 25-21, 25-16, 25-16, in the Season 78 Finals Saturday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Lady Spikers took home their ninth women’s volleyball championship and the first in three years after losing the throne to the Lady Eagles.
La Salle shut down Ateneo in the series opener before the Lady Eagles, behind league MVP Alyssa Valdez, rallied in the second game to send the Finals into a deciding match.
Kim Dy, who has been a revelation for the Lady Spikers, ended the match with a gorgeous kill sending La Salle to jubilation. She was named the Finals MVP.
Valdez became an afterthought in the third set with Dy, Mika Reyes, and Mary Joy Baron tormenting her every step of the way.
Valdez managed five points in the fourth set but most of her attempts either met the La Sallian blocking or the net.
Having just clinched another crown, Lady Spikers head coach Ramil De Jesus, who owns all of La Salle’s prefers not to worry about next season just yet.
“Hindi ko muna piniporblema yun, i-enjoy ko muna to,” De Jesus said. “Tagal naming hinintay to.”
Dy was also the one who gave La Salle the 24-14 championship point coming out of nowhere to punch her kill through the Ateneo defense.
Ateneo looked like it would carry its momentum from Game 2 racing immediately to a 9-1 lead in the first set, butLa Salle found its defensive intensity in the ensuing set to spoil the Lady Eagles’ three-peat bid.
It was a well-balanced attack for La Salle but Dy stood out with 17 points while Baron had 11.
Seniors Ara Galang, Cyd Demecillo, and Mika Reyes had nine points apiece.
Valdez, who played her last UAAP game, had 31 points to lead Ateneo but had little contribution from her teammates with Jhoana Maraguinot the next best-scorer for the Lady Eagles with 10.