The De La Salle University Lady Spikers bounced back from a third set setback against the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons, 25-14, 25-13, 19-25, 25-20 to remain undefeated in the UAAP Season 78 Women’s Volleyball Tournament at the PhilSports Arena, Saturday afternoon.
In the opening set, the Lady Spikers launched a 6-0 run, highlighted by three service aces of Carol Cerveza, to create a 12-6 cushion against the Lady Maroons. Moreover, the Taft volleybelles utilized their height advantage and capitalized on the faulty reception of the Lady Maroons to further the gap at 15-8. Ara Galang, Kim Fajardo, and Tine Tiamzon all contributed to the DLSU offense in the latter parts of the opener, while the Lady Maroons struggled to get their foot in the set.
La Salle continued to exploit the weaknesses of the Lady Maroons in the following set with the trio of Tiamzon, Galang, and Cervaza leading the charge for the offense. At the other end, timely blocks by Mary Joy Baron kept the UP side frustrated throughout the set. Isa Molde and Diana Carlos tried to pump up the lackadaisical UP offense but Galang kept the Lady Maroons at bay.
The Lady Maroons fought back in the third set through Justine Dorog and Molde, giving State U a 16-12 lead against the Lady Spikers midway through the third set. The rookie duo continuously punched La Salle’s floor defense with their thunderous attacks to widen the gap at 23-19. A Kathy Bersola quick and an error by Galang gave UP the third set.
Molde kept the Maroons afloat in the gripping fourth set. But DLSU, still through Galang and Baron, created the pivotal separation midway through the set. Expanding a two-point lead to four, 21-17, La Salle finally put away the pesky Lady Maroons.
“Maganda ang pinakita ni Joy. As a senior, alam naman niyang kailangan niya magstep up. Makikita mo naman na pinaghihirapan niya sa ensayo,” Lady Spikers head coach Ramil De Jesus remarked about the career high performance of his middle hitter.
“Aggressive ang team na iyon hindi pwede biruin,” De Jesus shared as rookies Dorog and Molde powered the Lady Maroons to a third set comeback.
Baron unloaded a career-high 17 points, while Galang contributed 13 markers together with five digs. Kim Fajardo tossed 41 excellent sets to match her eight-point production for the Lady Spikers.
Molde finished with 15 points for the Lady Maroons. Justine Dorog and Marian Buitre contributed ten and eight points apiece.
The DLSU Lady Spikers will next face the National University Lady Bulldogs on February 10, 4PM at the SM Mall of Asia Arena. On the other hand, the UP Lady Maroons will try to bounce back against the defending champion Ateneo De Manila University Lady Eagles on February 14, 4PM at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
DLSU (3)– Baron 17, Galang 13, Tiamzon 13, Cervaza 12, Reyes 10, Fajardo 8, Macandili (L)
UP (1)– Molde 15, Dorog 10, Buitre 8, Carlos 7, Bersola 6, Tiamzon 1, Gannaban 0, Basarte 0, Lai 0, Gaiser (L), Estranero (L)