UAAP: UST ousts FEU, Final Four cast complete in women's volleyball | Inquirer Sports

UAAP: UST ousts FEU, Final Four cast complete in women’s volleyball

By: - Reporter / @junavINQ
/ 03:19 PM April 23, 2023

Eya Laure UST Tigresses UAAP


MANILA, Philippines-University of Santo Tomas nearly got dragged to the limit before holding off Far Eastern University, 26-24, 22-25, 25-16, 25-23, on Sunday to complete the Final Four cast of the UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball.

Eya Laure delivered the final kill—a signatory authoritative spike off a block by Julianne Monares—that capped a 28-point performance built around 23 attacks in a victory that assured the Tigresses a third consecutive semifinal appearance.


“We’re now in the top four. But we will be aiming higher in the rankings,” said UST coach Kungfu Reyes.


The Tigresses are now in the company of leader La Salle (11-1) in the Final Four together with National University, which they tied at second place (9-3) and the Adamson Lady Falcons (9-4).

They will aim to join the La Salle Lady Spikers at the top two spots armed with a twice-to-beat edge in the semifinals and they could seal the deal with a victory over the defending champion NU Lady Bulldogs on Wednesday.

Imee Hernandez backstopped Laure with 19 points, highlighted by 16 attacks, and Cassie Carballo devised their offensive master plan with 17 excellent sets while Bernadett Pepito also sparkled with 21 digs and 19 receptions.

“The top two spots are important. We have a few days to prepare as we focus on that game beginning in training tomorrow (Monday),” said Pepito.

Laure likewise had eight digs and three service aces, the last two helping the Tigresses rise from a threatening deficit in the final set.

Their season on the line, the Lady Tamaraws matched the ferocity of the Tigresses in the opening frame and even moved up in front, 20-15, on an Ann Asis spike.


But UST quickly regrouped, leaning of Renee Penafiel, Laure and Regina Jurado in chasing down the Lady Tamaraws anchored on a variety of attacks with Penafiel’s hit through Alyzza Devosora’s outstretched arms finally leveling the count at 21.

Penafiel forced the last deadlock of the set at 24-all following a brief exchange of air strikes, before Cassie Carballo tossed it perfectly to the soaring Laure for the kill.

Yet, a single set that got away hardly dismayed the Lady Tamaraws as they turned it around in the second set.

Devosora’s smash bumped FEU up, 22-21, and a wallop by Chenie Tagaod created more separation prior to Margarett Encarnacion’s push to the UST back row that saw the Tigresses scramble for the ball at set point.

The Tigresses sprang back in the third, racing to a double-digit advantage, 20-10, heavily backed by the consistent plays of Hernandez and Laure.

Milena Alessandrini’s back-to-back assault at the net widened the gap further, creating a 12-point bubble before UST capped the set with Janna Torres deflecting a potential Jean Asis kill.

But FEU didn’t want to go down without a fight, making it taxing for the Tigresses in the fourth set by seizing a 17-14 advantage.

Jonna Perdido’s spike and two consecutive aces by Laure erased FEU’s lead, opening the door for the Tigresses to send the Lady Tamaraws out of the semifinal picture.

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Laure’s strike that got partially blocked by Monares before rolling in on the Lady Tamaraws’ side, crushed the hopes of the Lady Tamaraws, who dropped to 6-7, for good.


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TAGS: UAAP Season 85, UST Tigresses

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