UAAP volleyball: Ateneo eliminates UST, sets up showdown vs La Salle
MANILA, Philippines–Faith Nisperos took control of Ateneo’s endgame, scoring its last five points to help defeat University of Santo Tomas, 25-23, 25-23, 25-20 Tuesday night and level up to the second round of the UAAP Season 84 women’s volleyball step-ladder semifinals at Mall of Asia Arena.
The 5-foot-11 open spiker unloaded 23 points for the Blue Eagles who will next take on the twice-to-beat La Salle Lady Spikers in the second round on Thursday.
“Now we have won three knockout games already,” said Ateneo coach Oliver Almadro. “We know that UST will not give it to us, we were trailing them. It’s just a matter of finishing strong and relying on fundamentals and doing it right.”
Ateneo took control early zooming to an 11-6 lead as UST struggled on defense. But soon enough the Tigresses found their groove, igniting a 10-4 rally to take a slim 16-15 lead at the technical timeout of the opening set.
UST clicked on defense scoring four kill-blocks in the first frame to frustrate Ateneo spikers but the Blue Eagles turned the tables, blocking Eya Laure at set-point to draw first blood.
The Tigresses grabbed an 18-14 lead in the next set on a smash by Laure only to see the Blue Eagles scoring the next seven points for a 21-18 lead.
Yet Laure and Ysa Jimenez tried to push UST with hits to take a 23-22 advantage. That’s before Nisperos and Vanessa Gandler stepped on the gas, scoring back-to-back before a kill-block secured the set for Ateneo.
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