De La Salle University clamped Eya Laure to claim the second spot in the UAAP Season 84 women's volleyball tournament against University of Sto. Tomas to its second-straight loss, 25-23, 25-17, 22-25, 25-8, Thursday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
After a hiccup in the third set, La Salle made sure that there will be no repeat of its 24-26, 22-25, 25-27, 25-23, 15-12 collapse against the same team back on May 12.
The Lady Spikers built a 15-point cushion, 23-8, off an Erika Santos hit, to hold off UST. A couple of errors coming from Eya Laure and Mafe Galanza sealed the deal for the Lady Spikers.
“I think yung lumabas sa amin dito is yung more of the consistency ng team following up doon sa mga previous matches namin na na straight sets,” said Lady Spikers assistant coach Benson Bocboc. "So far, going up yung mga performance ng mga players and nagkataon ngayon na may lumabas na naman na mga scorers."
Mars Alba distributed the ball well for La Salle, finishing with 25 excellent sets while also producing five double-digit scorers in the game that put the Taft-based spikers at solo second with an 8-3 standing.
Leila Cruz introduced herself with 15 points to lead the Lady Spikers in scoring while the towering duo of Fifi Sharma and Thea Gagate produced 15 points each. Jolina Dela Cruz, on the other hand, finished with a triple-double of 11 points, 14 excellent digs, and 10 excellent receptions while Alleiah Malaluan had 10 points and 10 excellent receptions.
This was a huge win for La Salle as it finally scored its first win against UST since the battle for second seed during Season 81. The Lady Spikers also handed the Golden Tigresses their lowest set output with just eight in the fourth set.
La Salle was on its way to a sweep after bagging the first two sets but was later on denied by UST, who leaned on Ypril Tapia and Imee Hernandez to steal the third set.
Hernandez and Tapia led the way for the Golden Tigresses with 12 points apiece. Meanwhile, Laure was held to just eight points – her worst outing of the season – as UST slipped to 7-4 to remain at the third spot.
La Salle takes on winless University of the East on Saturday at 4:00 PM while UST will face skidding Far Eastern University at 12:30 PM. (Dennis Lachica, Sportsmanila Photojournalist)