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Lady Eagles sweep eliminations with four-set thriller over La Salle

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With the fate of the Final Four at stake, the Ateneo Lady Eagles pulled through and swept the elimination round for the first time in school history after vanquishing the DLSU Lady Spikers, 25-20, 21-25, 25-23, 27-25 at the MoA Arena.

Each set was close, with no team getting ahead by more than five points. The Lady Eagles just had more composure down the stretch to close sets as their league-best spiking pulled through with a 57-38 spiking advantage over their foes, compensating for Ateneo’s 38 errors.

Team captain Alyssa Valdez led the charge for the Lady Eagles, dishing out a massive 29 points off a season-high 79 attack attempts. Sophomore Jhoana Maraguinot was clutch in the final set, nailing Ateneo’s last two points to end an exciting deuce and the match, finishing with 11 points. Kiwi Amy Ahomiro put in 10 markers, including two big quick attacks to seal their third set win.

Pamapanga native and La Salle team captain Ara Galang gave a valiant effort, displaying her impressive all-around game with a team-high 20 points, eight digs, and seven excellent receptions. However, La Salle struggled to find other consistent scoring options as Galang was their only player who scored in double digits. Third year player Carol Cerveza hopped off the bench and provided much-needed offense in the fourth set, scoring five of her seven points in the period.

Ateneo’s win extends the season depending on how the remaining games go. Should a triple tie for the last Final Four slot occur, there will be an elimination game between the bottom two teams determined by quotient for the right to face the top team in an elimination game. Whoever comes out of that scuffle will face the third seeded NU Lady Bulldogs in an elimination game for for the right to face the second seed, the La Salle Lady Spikers who hold a twice-to-beat advantage.

The scores:

Ateneo – Valdez 29, De Leon 11, Maraguinot 10, De Jesus 8, Ahomiro 6, Morado 4, Morente 3, Lazaro (L)

DLSU – Galang 20, Reyes 8, Cerveza 8, Demecillo 7, Baron 6, Fajardo 4, Soyud 1, Dy 1, Cheng 1, Cruz Ca. 0, Cruz Ci. (L), Macandili (L)

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Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.

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