UST bounces back, downs UP in duel of UAAP favorites
MANILA, Philippines—University of Santo Tomas bounced back and topped University of the Philippines, 21-25, 25-22, 25-16, 25-20, in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament Sunday at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The Golden Tigresses suffered an ugly loss to Ateneo in their previous game, 25-21, 25-18, 16-25, 25-22, but redeemed themselves to get to a 2-1 record while stopping the Lady Maroons from getting a third straight win
Both UST and UP are now tied in second place behind unbeaten De La Salle (2-0).
From an early setback in the first set, the Golden Tigresses showed their fight in the second, displayed their composure come the third, and their resiliency in the fourth.
UST’s 17-11 lead was dwindled to two, 18-16, in the fourth set after Isa Molde’s through the block kill but the Golden Tigresses remained calm and took a 21-16 lead off of Cherry Rondina’s ace.
Molde then featured again in UP’s last gasp with an off-the-block kill to salvage a point for the Lady Maroons and the 24-19 score line but reigning Rookie of the Year Milena Alessandrini had other plans and sealed the win for UST with two clutch points.
UST head coach Kung Fu Reyes said he took his pre-game inspiration for his team when he attended a mass at the Philippine Army’s General Headquarters at Fort Bonifacio wherein the Army chaplain said in his homily that “you’re more than your mistakes.”
“I said to myself that I can apply what our chaplain said in the homily to my team,” said Reyes in Filipino. “You will mistakes but you can do so much more. We really struggled in the first set and they were dwelling on their errors.”
“I just reminded them on what they have to do so by the second and third sets we were able to lessen our errors.”
UST’s star trio of Alessandrini, Cherry Rondina, and rookie Eya Laure sparked the Golden Tigresses with Season 80’s top freshman leading the way with 22 points.
Rondina finished with 18 points for UST while Laure added 17 of her own.
Diana Carlos led UP with 20 points while Molde had 13 as they played without setter Ayel Estrañero who was said to have suffered from food poisoning.
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