UAAP: Eya Laure, UST Tigresses take down La Salle Lady Spikers
MANILA, Philippines—Eya Laure was an entirely different predator on the floor, herding University of Santo Tomas in tearing down La Salle, 25-19, 14-25, 25-19, 25-12, on Sunday night at the UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball.
Laure summoned her killer instinct in full force and battered the enemy with a season-high 29 attacks as the Tigresses inflicted the tournament-leading Lady Spikers their first defeat of the season.
“The second set was a wake-up call for us. From that point on, we knew that we cannot do it if we don’t work as a team,” said Laure after the Tigresses chalked up their seventh win in 10 games in front of delighted UST faithful at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Milena Alessandrini provided Laure the backing she needed with 20 points built on 17 attacks, Cassie Carballo tossed 18 excellent sets and Bernadett Pepito averted a strong La Salle assault with 25 digs and 11 receptions in their bounce-back win following a previous meltdown against Adamson.
“We took that loss as an inspiration. Our goal is to be in the top 2, so this victory is really crucial,” said Pepito after UST defeated another giant in La Salle that came not long after their surprise victory over defending champion National University.
La Salle remained on top at 9-1 despite the setback where Angel Canino led the Lady Spikers with 13 points, including 12 attacks, and eight receptions.
The Lady Spikers hurriedly worked their way up early, but Laure had grand plans in the opening set.
Laure whacked La Salle’s territory with an assortment of hits, scoring eight of her points in a big run that the Tigresses readily exploited.
Hernandez came to UST’s aid with a down-the-line incursion and Laure followed it up with a long foray to the back row that caught La Salle off-guard, 24-18, before Alessandrini’s crafty spike over Thea Gagate secured them the first frame.
The bliss of that UST coup immediately dissipated as the Lady Spikers recovered their bearings in the succeeding frame.
Fifi Sharma slowed down the Tigresses with back-to-back stoppages at the net, 14-5, while Baby Jyne Soreno, Canino and Gagate put on the concluding touches in a dominant second set.
Laure again boldly imposed herself in the third as they charged in front only to permit the Lady Spikers to equalize prior to an extensive exchange of firepower from both sides.
Efforts by Laure and Alessandrini broke the ice, 18-14, before Laure went on to compile four of their last five points with Jurado closing it out with a crosscourt strike.
The Tigresses held on and didn’t let go in the fourth and final set with Laure showing the way one last time with Alessandrini on her side in finally tearing down La Salle’s solid, impenetrable wall.
Laure ended the match with a pair of off-the-block attacks, the last one rolling on the net after Sharma tried to deflect it.
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