UAAP: FEU Lady Tamaraws overcome UE Lady Warriors in five sets
MANILA, Philippines— Far Eastern University coach Tina Salak motivated her team by revisiting a forgettable encounter with La Salle.
Chenie Tagaod and Jovelyn Fernandez responded to the call, leading the Lady Tamaraws in fending off the University of the East Lady Red Warriors, 25-19, 18-25, 25-12, 22-25, 15-5, on Wednesday in the UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball tournament.
“Our coaches pointed out the things that we could have done in our game against La Salle,” said Tagaod after scoring 23 points built on 18 attacks in their bounce-back win following a quick defeat at the hands of the tournament-leading Lady Spikers.
“After that game, we immediately went back to practice. Coach Tina told me that she felt that I didn’t play the way I regularly do,” said Fernandez, whose 22 points, five blocks and 13 excellent digs proved critical for FEU to notch its third victory in six games.
Fernandez and Tagaod, who had three blocks and two aces, took charge in the final set as the Lady Tamaraws forged ahead, 6-1, and never looked back.
Gerzel Petallo’s pair of aces and a spike plus Mitzi Panangin’s kill dashed the hopes of the Lady Red Warriors for good.
“To be honest, we’ve already exceeded expectations. We want to set higher expectations, which to my mind are achievable. It’s not bad to dream, we’ll just take it one game at a time,” said Salak.
KC Cepada had 18 points and eight blocks while Vanessa Bangayan added 17 points and nine blocks, including 14 attacks, for the winless Lady Red Warriors, who spiraled to a sixth straight loss.
Tagaod led FEU’s bristling start, pummeling the UE side with a variety of shots while also contributing in parrying the blows from the other side.
After the Lady Tamaraws convincingly snatched the opening set, the Lady Red Warriors suddenly gave them a jolt with Bangayan towing her team to a 6-0 advantage with a spike off a block.
The Lady Tamaraws managed to knot the count by blocking Bangayan’s foray, but UE again seized control through the efforts of Rizza Nogales and Cepeda at the net.
Down by 10, the Lady Tamaraws pulled within five twice as the Lady Red Warriors visibly relaxed. Janeca Lana and Nogales scored successive hits and UE was back on track.
WATCH: Chen Tagaod and Jov Fernandez on beating UE.
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A service error by Fernandez at match point helped them level the count after two sets.
The Lady Red Warriors scrambled to defend their fort and couldn’t find answers to FEU’s continuous bombardment in the third.
Fernandez was relentless in that span with piercing attacks to put the Lady Tamaraws quickly ahead. Christine Ubaldo had back-to-back aces and Tagaod delivered another of her own before Fernandez capped it off with a kill.
But the Lady Red Warriors weren’t done yet, forcing the match into a deciding fifth set with Bangayan and Cepada asserting themselves in pulverizing the FEU defense in the fourth.
Tagaon put the Lady Tamaraws within striking distance, 23-21, but Cepada and Bangayan kept UE alive with twin hits at the end of that set.