UAAP: La Salle bucks slow start to repel UE in women’s volleyball
MANILA, Philippines — La Salle averted a sluggish start before dispatching winless University of the East, 25-20, 25-21, 25-14, and extending its unbeaten run to four games in the UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball tournament on Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Thea Gagate anchored the Lady Spikers’ net defense as she provided five of their 15 blocks to finish with a team-high 13 points, including eight attacks.
Angel Canino had fewer touches compared to her first three games but still finish with 10 points, eight excellent receptions, and seven digs as La Salle remained the lone undefeated team in the league.
However, La Salle coach Noel Orcullo was far from satisfied after UE kept them within striking distance in the first two sets, especially in the second when the Lady Spikers trailed, 0-4.
“Actually, we started too slow. We were too complacent. That’s what I’m telling in the past game, once you disrespect your opponent, there is a chance that it will beat you,” said Orcullo in Filipino. “That’s what happened in the first two sets, we didn’t stick to our game plan and played at the phase of our opponent.”
The Lady Spikers gained the lead in the second after Baby Jyne Soreno’s ace, 8-7, but the Lady Red Warriors continued to push them to their limits until the unbeaten team pulled away with a 23-19 advantage after Gagate denied Ja Lana’s attack.
UE trimmed it to two off Lana’s cross-court kill and Vanessa Bangayan’s off-the-block attack, 23-21, before Gagate and Jolina Dela Cruz closed the set.
Dela Cruz finished with nine points, while Soreno also stepped up with seven markers as Leila Cruz and Fifi Sharma played sparingly in the match.
The Lady Red Warriors dropped to 0-4 with Bangayan and Lana leading the way with 14 and 11 points, respectively.
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