University of Santo Tomas stopped Ateneo de Manila University’s three-game winning streak in dramatic fashion, eking out a 25-19, 25-21, 29-31, 33-31 victory in the UAAP Season 84 women’s volleyball tournament, Thursday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Eya Laure led the Golden Tigresses with a career-high 31 points to go along with 14 excellent receptions to push her side to a 5-2 standing after the first round for solo second. And it was the second generation Tiger who ended the match.
Trailing 30-31 in the fourth set, UST managed three straight hits off an Ateneo service error.
KC Galdones followed it up with a kill block while Laure finished things off with an off-the-block kill to finish the game.
“Parang six sets,” quipped UST head coach Kungfu Reyes in the match that lasted two hours and 28 minutes. “Rollercoaster ride. Pinakamaganda doon ‘yung maexperience ‘yung pagdating sa mga pitpitan ‘yuing fighting spirit mo nandoon.”
Ahead by just two points, Laure scored three of her nine first set points in UST’s 6-2 closing run for the upper hand, 25-19.
Galdones and Imee Hernandez’s hits, coupled with two Ateneo errors, highlighted the Golden Tigresses’ 4-2 spurt to take a 2-0 set advantage, 25-21.
Knotted at 29 in the third set, Ateneo’s Vanie Gandler delivered from the backrow before Ypril Tapia committed an attacking error for UST to extend the match, 31-29.
“Dadalhin namin itong panalo na ito towards second round. Nakachamba lang ulit kami. Nachambahan ulit ni Eya kahit papaano nakabalik,” Reyes continued.
Hernandez put in half of her 14 points in the fourth set for UST, while Galdones had 12 points, including three blocks. Tapia also added 11 points in the win, including three in the clinching set.
UST’s Christine Ecalla appeared to sprain her right ankle after an awkward landing early in the second salvo.
Faith Nisperos paced Ateneo with 22 points while Gandler chalked up 18 points, all from spikes.
The Blue Eagles fell to 3-4, knotted with University of the Philippines for fifth.