La Salle beats Ateneo for 14th straight time in UAAP volleyball

La Salle beats Ateneo for 14th straight time in UAAP volleyball

By: - Reporter / @junavINQ
/ 07:41 PM March 02, 2024

Thea Gagate La Salle beats Ateneo UAAP volleyball

La Salle’s Thea Gagate against Ateneo in the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament.–UAAP PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines–Defending champion La Salle again transformed a projected nail-biter with arch nemesis Ateneo into a sleeper.

Except for a tight confrontation in the second set, the Lady Spikers simply coasted along with a 25-12, 25-22, 25-19 win on Saturday night at the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball.

Thea Gagate smashed her way to nine attacks from a team-high 15 points while Angel Canino and Shevana Laput were in assault mode throughout as they recovered from a stinging defeat at the hands of tournament leader University of Santo Tomas.

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SCHEDULE: UAAP Season 86 volleyball first round

“After that loss to UST, we just talked it over and were able to address the mistakes that we committed,” said La Salle coach Ramil De Jesus.

Laput contributed 13 points and delivered a pair of aces, Canino also unleashed nine attacks out of her 10 points and Julia Coronel tossed 16 excellent sets. Gagate also had six digs and five blocks, tying the same number of blocks by the Blue Eagles.

The Lady Spikers now share the second spot with the National University Lady Bulldogs with three victories and a defeat behind UST’s unblemished 3-0 record.

READ: La Salle out to extend dominance of Ateneo in UAAP volleyball

La Salle beats Ateneo UAAP volleyball

La Salle Lady Spikers celebrate against Ateneo Blue Eagles in the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament.–UAAP PHOTO

“We came to this game wanting to win, basically to bounce back. We just went back to our roots, our system,” said Laput.

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Lyann De Guzman led the Blue Eagles with 15 points, including 13 attacks, and had one block and an ace as they dropped another game, their third in four matches following a breakthrough win over University of the Philippines.

It was the Blue Eagles 14th straight defeat at the hands of the Lady Spikers since La Salle defeated them in Game 1 of their championship series in Season 79 back in 2017.

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READ: Sergio Veloso, Ateneo brace for ‘strong’ La Salle in UAAP volleyball

Gagate and Canino alternated in attacking the Blue Eagles as the Lady Spikers showed no leniency in attempting to dump their arch rivals from the get-go.

There was no way Canino’s powerful cross-court smash could be restrained before Laput aced her service at set point.

“We really made big adjustments the past week since that (UST) loss and I’m happy to see that we applied them in this game,” said Canino, last season’s rookie-MVP.

The Blue Eagles put up a semblance of a challenge in the second set with De Guzman keeping them afloat and putting them on course to snatch a set.

De Guzman’s back-to-back hits plus a crosscourt wallop leveled the count at 21, but errors hounded Ateneo in the ensuing plays.

After Geezel Tsunashima’s spike sailed far behind the end line, Laput again tallied an ace and Canino was there again to end the set with a strike off Tsunashima’s block.

The Lady Spikers again made it look too easy in the final set, zooming to a comfortable advantage capped by Gagate’s heroics.

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The 6-foot-2 middle blocker hammered the Blue Eagles with a nasty down-the-line spike and blocked Yvana Sulit’s attack at match point.

TAGS: Ateneo Blue Eagles, La Salle Lady Spikers, UAAP Season 86, uaap volleyball

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