Willing themselves to get back on track, the Ateneo Lady Eagles on Wednesday withstood a tenacious stand by University of Santo Tomas to pull off a 25-21, 25-18, 16-25, 25-22 triumph in Season 81 of the UAAP Women’s volleyball tournament at Filoil Flying V Centre.
It was a great bounce back by the the Lady Eagles, who came into the contest still licking the wounds of a sorry four-set loss to bitter rival La Salle on Sunday.
“My players had the resiliency to recover from that loss [to La Salle] because they were the ones who wanted to immediately bounce back,” coach Oliver Almadro said in Filipino.
The win gave the Lady Eagles a 1-1 card, tied with their victims, and Almadro hopes that an outing as tough as this one would spur his wards to a “bright future.”
Despite holding on to the lead for most of the fourth set, the Lady Eagles didn’t have total control over UST with the Tigresses refusing to just roll over and die.
“They believed they could win today,” he added. “Hopefully this [win] would be a stepping stone for a bright future.”
Ateneo held a 23-18 lead after Eya Laure’s error for UST, but what seemed like a comfortable buffer heading into the stretch almost disappeared as quickly.
The Tigresses strung up three points off attacks and crept within 22-23 after a Jules Samonte error for the Lady Eagles.
Kat Tolentino, however, came up in the clutch and shoved Ateneo to triple match point with a booming kill that bounced off Cherry Rondina’s reception.
Milena Alessandrini then sealed the Tigresses’ fate when her down the line kill went out of bounds.
Tolentino paced Ateneo’s offense with 22 points, while Maddie Madayag had 15.
Rondina scored a team-high 20 points for the Tigresses with Laure and Alessandrini chipping in with 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Meanwhile, University of the Philippines defeated Far Eastern for the first time in five years after scoring a 25-18, 20-25, 25-22, 25-20 decision in the second game.
The last time the Lady Maroons won against the Lady Tamaraws was on Feb. 9, 2014, when Kathy Bersola, Nicole Tiamzon, and Pia Gaiser were still with the team.
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