UAAP: La Salle douses FEU’s strong start to go 9-0 in women’s volleyball
MANILA, Philippines–La Salle unexpectedly got a jolt from Far Eastern University, nearly giving up a set before tightly prevailing in the end, 30-28, 25-12, 28-26, to keep its unblemished record intact in the UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Angel Canino had another superb outing with 16 attacks and put up significant numbers in defense with 15 receptions and 14 excellent digs as the Lady Spikers chalked up a ninth straight victory, rewarding them with at least a playoff in the semifinals.
“We started flat in the first set, so we reminded them that they were veering away from our system. Our movements were different from what we did in practice,’’ said La Salle assistant coach Noel Orcullo.
Thea Gagate had 11 points, including 10 kills, and Jolina Dela Cruz added 10 points and 14 digs while Fifi Sharma contributed four blocks for the Lady Spikers, who likewise squeezed the best from Baby Jyne Soreno in the final set.
The Lady Tamaraws put the Lady Spikers on the ropes early and nearly snatched the opening set.
Chenie Tagaod and Alyzza Devosora pushed FEU in front, 19-15, before the Lady Spikers leveled the count on Mars Alba’s twin aces that sandwiched Dela Cruz crosscourt push.
Canino then rose to the occasion by driving the double kill into the Lady Tamaraws’ backyard, giving her team a sigh of relief.
FEU came close to claiming a set twice only to let the rare occurrence slip away from its grasp to slide at 4-5, good for fifth place.
The Lady Tamaraws again threatened at the beginning of the second set by keeping in step with the Lady Spikers, but it was short-lived as Gagate and Dela Cruz controlled the net while FEU scrambled on the other side.
From a tight 9-all scenario, La Salle regained its usual deadly form, unloading an assortment of attacks and denying the Lady Tamaraws a chance for redemption on the strength of a sizzling 16-3 finishing kick.
The Lady Spikers got another scare in the final set when the Lady Tamaraws again pushed them to the limit.
After Devosora’s killer spike forced the last deadlock at 26, Dela Cruz retaliated with a backrow attack and Gagate deflected FEU’s last-ditch effort.