THE impressive run of the Ateneo Lady Eagles in UAAP Season 79 women’s volleyball tournament continued yesterday after they soared to their seventh victory in a row with a win over the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Golden Tigresses in straight sets, 25-10, 26-24 and 28-26.
Showing better composure in closeouts and another multipronged attack, the Katipunan-based Lady Eagles padded their University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) record to a still-league leading 8-1 with the win while stopping the streak of the Tigresses (5-4) to four wins.
In the first game, the University of the Philippines (UP) Lady Maroons halted their four-game losing streak, beating the University of the East (UE) Lady Warriors in four sets, 25-14, 18-25, 25-15 and 25-10.
Ateneo came out strong in the opening set and took it to UST en route to the easy claiming of the frame.
In the second though, the Tigresses would compete better, staying close with the Lady Eagles in the first half of the set.
Ateneo created some distance to get first to the second technical knockout, 16-13. But UST went on a 9-6 run to tie the knot at 22-all then scored the next two points to go to set point.
Instead of folding to the pressure, however, Ateneo dug deep behind Jhoana Maraguinot and Jia Morado to level things at 24-all and then stole the set in extra point.
The two teams went at it to start the third frame. Ateneo went on another run midway only to be answered back by UST to hold down the former’s lead by the second technical knockout to just one point, 16-15.
Ateneo rushed to a 23-18 lead after but was erased by UST after it went on a 6-1 run to force a logjam at 24-all. But like in the second frame, the Lady Eagles collected themselves and stood firm to seal the win in extra points.
“Coach Tai (Bundit) just told us to keep our focus and do a better job on our receives especially when UST was making its move in the second and third sets,” said Maraguinot, who led the way for Ateneo, along with Bea De Leon, with 12 points.
Kat Toletino and Michelle Morente also wound up in double-digits with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Setter Morado had 27 excellent sets to go along with three points.
UST, meanwhile, was paced by Sisi Rondina’s 14 markers while EJ Laure added nine.
BACK IN THE WIN COLUMN
While still far from the form they showed at the start of the season, the Lady Maroons did just enough to get back on the win column after four successive defeats.
Graduating Kathy Bersola wiggled out of her stupor of late to give the Diliman-based volleybelles a big lift.
Bersola, named player of the game after, finished with 18 points, 15 off spikes and two blocks, to backstop Tots Carlos’s game-high 21 points.
Isa Molde added 16 points of her own to help thrust UP to a 5-4 record, joint third place with UST, National University and Far Eastern University.
UE (1-8), for its part, was led by Shaya Adorador with 12 points.