It seems that the Tigresses have worked out whatever bogged them down early in the season as they outlasted the FEU Lady Tams, 25-19, 25-21, 25-23 at the San Juan Arena and now have solo claim on third place.
UST’s splendid performance from the attack area overwhelmed the Lady Tams, who were grasping at straws in trying to find a reliable option. The Tigresses tallied an outstanding 40 spikes led by EJ Laure’s 16 attacks compared to FEU’s 27.
UST’s top scorers came out of their dugout firing as they found their groove early. Rookie Laure and graduating veteran Carmela Tunay set the tone for the Tigresses who jumped on their prey by building a five-point lead, and protecting it with consistent effort on both sides of the ball, allowing UST to cruise to their first set win.
The Lady Tams began the second set with better effort. After being down 2-7, the Lady Tams put together a 6-0 run to take the lead. The Tigresses adjusted their offense, mixing up their set plays and making FEU’s blockers chase their attackers. UST reclaimed the lead at 21-17 and took the set as they put the breaks on another FEU comeback by moving like zealots for their digs.
The third set had the Tams erect an early lead, 11-7, behind consecutive attacks from rookie Jerrili Malabanan. UST climbed all the way back again and took an 18-15 advantage only to have FEU storm ahead one more time. The Lady Tams scrapped their way to a 22-20 lead but managed to score only one more time as UST shut down their attackers to tame the match.
Aside from Laure’s game-high 17 markers, the Thomasians received a huge boost to their cause from team captain Pam Lastimosa who contributed 12 markers. Ria Meneses dominated her matchup at the middle, driving home eight points and two blocks.
FEU’s attackers struggled the entire match, with only Malabanan’s six points to lead the team. Their best attackers, Bernadette Pons and Remy Palma, managed only a combined nine points.
With the win- UST’s fourth straight- the Tigresses now have solo claim on the third spot with a 5-5 record while FEU drops to a four-way tie with Adamson, UP, and NU for fourth place with identical 4-6 records.
UST will face the DLSU Lady Spikers next on Feb. 4 at the San Juan Arena while FEU has Ateneo on the same day.
UST – Laure 17, Lastimosa 12, Tunay 9, Meneses 8, De Leon 5, Cabanos 3, Rondina 0, Rasmo (L) 0, Dusaran (L) 0
FEU – Malbanan 6, Pons 5, Simborio 5, Casugod 4, Palma 4, Basas 3, Limosinero 3, Dawson 2, Papa 1, Negrito 1, Atienza 0, Agno (L) 0