Continuing their climb up the standings, the UST Tigresses rattled off another win with a 25-19, 25-16, 23-25, 25-15 thrashing of the Adamson Lady Falcons at the San Juan Arena.
Led by a career-high 19 points from rookie EJ Laure, the Tigresses annihilated the Lady Falcons at the net, tallying 17 block kills to AdU’s four. Sophomore Ria Meneses and graduating veteran Mela Tunay both piled on five blocks to lead UST.
Imposing net defense from UST forced AdU to weak attacks early in the match. The Tigresses built a 21-14 lead off strong blocking and digging. Adamson sophomore Gemma Galanza led an offensive surge that brought her team back to as close as 21-17 but UST’s tough net defense held through and doused any AdU attempts at a comeback.
UST’s power hitters came alive in the second set as Laure and Tunay dished out a combined five early spikes to hand their team a quick 14-7 lead. Faulty reception and digging weighed the Lady Falcons down further, giving UST a better shot at setting up cleaner plays for their spikers. UST took the set convincingly, 25-16.
UST rode their spiking all the way to a 10-5 third set lead. Adamson graduating veteran Amanda Villanueva led a furious rally that brought her team to an 11-11 deadlock. Both traded blows, with UST eventually pulling away and taking an 18-14 lead off powerful attacks from Tunay. With UST threatening to take the match at 21 -17, Adamson’s offense came alive, netting blocks that forced UST into multiple errors, tying the game at 21 and forcing Coach Mamon to sub Laure out for fellow rookie Cherry Rondina. Rondina drove home a crucial spike for UST but three late errors from her teammates sealed the set for the Lady Falcons.
The Tigresses responded emphatically in the fourth set, stifling all of Adamson’s main gunners and coaxing Adamson into eight unforced errors, claiming their third win.
“Inaani lang namen yung tinanim namin nung Papal visit,” said Coach Mamon when asked about his thoughts about the game. According to Coach, the Papal visit allowed his team to bond though it did come with the challenge of not being able to practice in their own facility for several days.
“A week ago [hinamon] ko iyung mga player na ireview iyung game against Adamson, the rest general lang iyung preparation namin,” said Coach Mamon.
In their third consecutive loss after winning three straight, the Lady Falcons were led by Villanueva’s 14 points off 49 spike attempts while Mylene Paat continued her slump, notching 12 points but needing 38 balls to do it. Her sophomore running mate Galanza was subbed out in the second set for the former Libero, Marlene Cortel. Galanza managed only five points.
Both teams now stand with a 3-5 record, tied for fifth in the league. Adamson will face defending champion, Ateneo on Wednesday at the San Juan Arena while UST has the surging NU Lady Bulldogs on the same day.
UST – Laure 19, Lastimosa 16, Meneses 14, Tunay 12, De Leon 7, Rondina 2, Cabanos 1, Dusaran (L) 0
AdU – Villanueva 14, Paat 12, Alkuino 8, Galanza 5, Guevara 3, Emnas 2, Cortel 2, Dacoron 1, Mohammad 0, Lebumfacil 0, Tempiatura (L) 0
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