UAAP: NU dispatches FEU, keeps in step for twice-to-beat in women’s volleyball
MANILA, Philippines—National University thrived on Far Eastern University’s assortment of errors in critical moments to prevail, 25-21, 25-14, 25-23, on Sunday at the UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball.
Alyssa Solomon hammered the FEU defense with 17 attacks out of her team-high 18 points, Bella Belen added 14 points and Evangeline Alinsug contributed 12 points and three blocks as the Lady Bulldogs intensified the footrace among three teams for the twice-to-beat edge in the Final Four.
“I’m glad with the result but we shouldn’t get tired of learning and be confident every game,” said Solomon after NU forced a triple tie at second place with the University of Santo Tomas Tigresses and the Adamson Lady Falcons at 8-3.
The defending champion Lady Bulldogs chalked up their third straight victory with NU coach Karl Dimaculangan refusing to show up at the post-game interview each time.
The Lady Tamaraws kept the Lady Bulldogs on their toes mostly in the first set before the twin miscues of FEU opened the floodgates for NU to pull away.
Solomon scored four of her team’s last five points by driving it in and deflecting the spike of Ann Asis in the succeeding plays, 22-18, before the proficient NU opposite hitter sealed the initial frame to their advantage with another blasting strike.
Defense totally deserted the Lady Tamaraws in the second set, allowing a variety of NU hitters to freely bombard the opposite floor.
Alinsug’s down-the-line kill and Solomon’s spike coupled with the incessant pounding of Belen and Erin May Pangilinan installed the Lady Bulldogs out in front, 16-7, and were hardly threatened from there.
The Lady Bulldogs came in prepared for an FEU fightback in the last set.
After an intense exchange of attacks, NU exploited the error-prone Lady Tamaraws on the final deadlock at 23 through the efforts of Belen and Ces Robles, who uncorked the game-sealing crosscourt kill.
“We just keep on reminding our teammates that we should play all out during tight sets. That’s how we were able to pull through in the first and third sets,” said Robles.
NU’s victory shut the semifinal door on the Ateneo Blue Eagles, who are sixth (4-7) with three games remaining.
The Lady Tamaraws are still in contention for a semifinal appearance at 5-6 but their fate is already out of their hands, highly dependent on the remaining matches of UST, NU and Adamson.