Erasing the past
Ateneo redeemed itself from the heartache of a previous loss but it was University of the East that stole the spotlight as it redeemed itself from the ignominy of the past few seasons Wednesday night.
The Lady Eagles bounced back after losing to the defending champion and rival La Salle Lady Spikers by trouncing the Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws, 25-19, 25-21, 25-17, in the UAAP women’s volleyball at FilOil Flying V Centre.
Ateneo also got back at FEU after losing to the Lady Tamaraws in the first round. Both Ateneo and FEU are at 5-3.
Jho Maraguinot scored 14 points while Kat Tolentino added 11 points for the Lady Eagles, who also snapped the Lady Tamaraws’ four-win run and muddle up the standings.
But it was the startling 25-23, 18-25, 28-26, 26-24 triumph by the Lady Warriors over the Tigresses that created the bigger uproar.
It was the first victory of UE over UST in 24 years, and one that UST coach Kungfu Reyes said during the game would go down in infamy for the school.
“If we lose here, it’s going to be the most forgettable season for us,” Reyes told the Tigresses early in the fourth when they trailed 12-5. “If you can’t win it for yourselves, at least win it for the school.”
That appeared to strike a chord for the Tigresses, who clawed back and even reached set-point, 24-22, on Carla Sandoval’s hit. But in a stunning turn of events that mirrored what happened in the first and third sets, UE came through with clutch hits to steal the match.
It was the second straight win for the Lady Warriors, who also defeated the Adamson Lady Falcons to end the first round. UE won one game each the past two seasons.
Now they are looking at turning things around after a poor start this year that led to coach Francis Vicente finally calling it quits.
Interim coach Rod Roque drew 21 points from Mary Ann Mendres, while Shaya Adorador added 15. Judith Abil and Seth Rodriguez had 10 each.
Also sharing the spotlight was libero Kath Arado who negated UST heavy hitter Cherry Rondina, making 32 receptions and 28 digs.
The Lady Warriors thus notched their second win in eight games, tying the Tigresses, who are now in danger of missing the Final Four.