National University clinched the top seed in the UAAP Season 84 women's volleyball tournament after sweeping University of the Philippines 25-15, 25-10, 25-15, Saturday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
With the win, the Lady Bulldogs went up to 12-0 which both De La Salle University and University of Santo Tomas can no longer achieve.
And what's next for NU is making an outright finals trip -- a feat it can reach if it takes its last two assignments in Far Eastern University and UST.
“Naka-ano naman din sa players na medyo naka-bawi kami from last game na meltdown namin,” said NU head coach Karl Dimaculangan. "Mahalaga kasi sa amin at this point na patapos na yung elimination na naggagain na rin kami ng confidence for the Final Four or kung ano mang mangyari."
Against UP, NU showed its force with Mhicaela Belen leading the way.
Belen, who tied Dzi Gervacio’s UAAP record of eight aces in a single match, finished with 16 points to go along with six excellent receptions.
Armed with an eight-point advantage, 23-15, the Lady Bulldogs advanced to match point after a net touch was called on the Fighting Maroons. Steph Bustrillo then committed an attack error that helped NU bag the win in just an hour and 26 minutes.
Sheena Toring added 11 points on eight attacks, two aces, and a block while Alyssa Solomon and Ivy Lacsina had eight points each.
Camilla Lamina tossed 17 excellent sets while Jennifer Nierva had 18 excellent digs and nine receptions.
UP, who dropped to 5-7 at the sixth spot, was led by Stephanie Bustrillo with nine points and eight digs. Jaila Atienza added five while Jewel Encarnacion had four makers.
NU will face FEU on Tuesday at 12:30 PM while UP looks to salvage its Final Four bid against Adamson University at 6:30 PM. (Dennis Lachica, Sportsmanila Photojournalist)