Dongallo leads UE past Ateneo in UAAP volleyball women's opener

Dongallo leads UE past Ateneo in UAAP volleyball women’s opener

By: - Reporter / @junavINQ
/ 06:16 PM February 17, 2024

Casiey Dongallo UE Lady Warriors UAAP Season 86 women's volleyball

Casiey Dongallo (9) and the UE Lady Warriors celebrate their win over Ateneo Blue Eagles in the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament.–MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines–Casiey Dongallo has been augured as the next big thing in college volleyball.

The rookie spiker from Catmon, Cebu was good as advertised, scoring 27 points in her collegiate debut to spearhead University of East’s come-from-behind 20-25, 25-18, 25-23, 25-18 victory over Ateneo on Saturday at the opener of the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball.

Dongallo capped her heroics by delivering the Lady Warriors’ last three attacks, shattering the hopes of the Blue Eagles from stretching it further to the limit.

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SCHEDULE: UAAP Season 86 volleyball first round

“I’m just thankful to my teammates. I cannot have 27 points without them,” said Dongallo, who compiled the most number of points for a rookie in her first UAAP game.

Kizzie Madriaga, Dongallo’s high school teammate from the California Academy, produced 16 excellent sets and libero Angelica Reyes took care of the defensive end with 22 digs.

“I was able to score those points with the help of my teammates and Kizzie. When I got nervous at the start, my teammates were there to back me up,” said the 18-year-old Dongallo.

Lyann De Guzman compiled 18 points and had 16 digs for the Blue Eagles, who lost for the first time against UE since Season 73 back in 2010.

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“This is the first time in 14 years. The reason why we came to UE is to make history and this is a part of it. The rest is going to be a process, so it’s going to take a while,” said UE assistant coach Obet Vital.

Kizzie Madriaga UE Lady Warriors UAAP Season 86

UE setter Kizzie Madriaga.–MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

The Lady Warriors won only six games the past six seasons, winning only one match each last year and in 2022.

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“If we win two (this season), we’ve already matched the last two years. It’s going to be a bonus if we win three. It’s a new system that we brought to UE. We’re happy about the win, but there’s a lot of work ahead of us,” said Vital.

Dongallo, one of the most sought-after high school players before committing to UE with Grace Fernandez, Jelaica Gajero and Madriaga, bagged the MVP plum in CAL’s title-winning campaign in the Shakey’s Girls Volleyball Invitational League last year.

The third set was a real nip-and-tuck affair with UE cutting itself loose from the tight contest with less effort by simply watching the Blue Eagles frustrate themselves.

Zey Pacia’s long wallop that sailed beyond the endline shattered a series of deadlocks that ended at 20.

Then, Riza Nogales’ tip created more space for the Lady Warriors before Tuku’s attempt got smothered at set point.

De Guzman actually scored the tournament’s first kill and several plays later finished off their rivals in the first set with an attack that bounced off the fingers of Dongallo before falling in.

Geezel Tsunashima’s series of strikes set the tone for Ateneo’s opening-frame victory, putting them ahead early, 8-3, before Dongallo and Madriaga made the Warriors look better.

But after Takako Fujimoto drove in the first ace of the season, 16-11, the Blue Eagles charged ahead with De Guzman taking control.

Fortunes reversed in the next set as the Lady Warriors shifted the trend in their favor by seizing the upper hand early built on the efforts of Nogales and Yesha Rojo.

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A pair of aces delivered by Ercae Nierva and Fernandez pushed the Eagles deeper from erasing the deficit with Madriaga’s dump clinching the set for the Lady Warriors.

STATS: UE Lady Warriors vs Ateneo Blue Eagles February 17

STATS: UE Lady Warriors vs Ateneo Blue Eagles February 17

TAGS: Ateneo Blue Eagles, UAAP, uaap volleyball, UE Lady Warriors

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