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Santiago, NU swiftly dominate UB

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The razor sharp NU Lady Bullogs remain undefeated in their first two games as they breezed through their much shorter foes, the UB Lady Brahmans, in three quick sets 25-15, 25-14, 25-19 in the Shakey’s V-League Collegiate Conference at the FilOil Flying-V Arena.

Third-year middle blocker, Jaja Santiago, led the NU charge with 23 points coming off 15 attacks, three block kills, and five aces. The 6’4 national team standout was only one of two NU players who played the entire match without being substituted. NU’s other iron lady, Myla Pablo, had an easy time blowing back the vertically challenged UB frontline and dropped 13 points.

The Brahmans seemed up to the challenge as the match kicked off, forcing a 9-9 tie in the first set. However, when NU cleaned up their errors, UB had no way of countering the NU offense even though they could consistently dig up NU’s best attacks. The Lady Bulldogs only surrendered six points from the deadlock and relied heavily on the Santiago sisters and Myla Pablo to take the first set.

The Lady Bulldogs had the second set well in hand right from the first point. They forged an early 8-3 advantage then built their largest lead of the match, 17-5, as a blistering Myla Pablo delivered fire from the service area. UB was able to salvage the set and cross the double-digit mark with separate 3-0 runs but the NU bench led by Roma Doromal and Marites Pablo were able to take care of business and put NU ahead two sets to none.

UB’s nifty combination plays and consistent floor defense frustrated the Lady Bulldogs in the third set. Though they were never able to take the lead, UB still managed to maintain a tie with the Lady Bulldogs. Not standing for her team’s dismal effort, Jaja Satiago let out her frustrations by constantly asking for the ball and delivering booming quick attacks. With the set in a 16-all deadlock, Jaja scored six times in NU’s closing 9-3 rally, sealing the win for NU.

NU generated 43 attacks in total; a hefty amount considering the match only took three sets and UB only created 16 points off attacks. NU’s rookie setter, Rica Diolan dominated her matchup, amassing 18 excellent sets to UB’s veteran setter, Romalyn Castor, who had just a single assist.

The Lady Bulldogs will face their toughet challenge of the tournament so far on Saturday, July 25 when they collide with the defending NCAA champs, AU Lady Chiefs. UB will look to break their two-game slide when they face the UP Lady Maroons on Sunday, July 26.

The Scores

NU (3) – Santiago 23, My. Pablo 13, Manbat 4, Paran 3, Doria 3, Diolan 2, Perez 2, Doromal 2, Urdas 2, Nabor 1, Pablo Ma. 0, General (L), Valdez (L)

UB (0) – Madalogdog 6, Jamilla 4, Montecer 3, Castor 2, Garcia 2, Montenegro 1, Ramirez 0, Tan 0, Romero 0, Gallardo 0, Maquinto (L), Tabion (L)

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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