Ateneo gets back at UST, forces decider for UAAP volleyball crown
MANILA, Philippines—Ateneo is set to fight another day after tripping University of Santo Tomas 26-24, 14-25, 25-21, 25-15 in Game 2 and tying the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball finals series Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena.
The Lady Eagles also stopped the Golden Tigresses’ seven-game winning streak that stretched back to the middle part of the elimination round.
After a tense third set that saw Rookie of the Year Eya Laure momentarily leave the game due to a left ankle injury, the Lady Eagles kicked things up a notch in the fourth set.
Ateneo was on fire in the fourth, going on a 20-8 start that essentially put things to bed.
UST managed to get to a 5-1 spurt and cut the lead to eight, 21-13, but Ateneo’s buffer was tougher than what the Golden Tigresses could ever claw against.
Maddie Madayag then scored on two straight kills, including an emphatic block on Season MVP Cherry Rondina, for Ateneo’s 23-13 lead, during which Laure subbed out of the match.
Ateneo libero Dani Ravena then put the Lady Eagles at the 24-13 match point with an improbable save that went over the net and onto UST’s defense.
Rondina salvaged a point for UST with an off-the-block kill, 24-14, but KC Galdones’ ensuing service went beyond the baseline.
“Today’s game, we really played our best,” said the graduating Madayag. “We really worked as a team. And of course it gets into our minds that this might be our last game but we know we should cross that out and that we will fight, we won’t go down without a fight.”
Madayag led Ateneo with 17 points on 10 attacks, four blocks, and three aces, while Bea De Leon and Kat Tolentino had 13 and 11 points, respectively.
Rondina led UST with 22 points while Laure added 10.
The deciding Game 3 is on Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena.
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