Far Eastern University regained its touch in the fourth and fifth sets to outlast Ateneo de Manila University in a marathon, 25-12, 15-25, 19-25, 25-15, 18-16, in the UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball tournament Wednesday at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
Jovelyn Fernandez came through with a go-ahead kill off a combination play that broke the 16-16 tie. Then rookie Gerzel Petallo denied AC Miner’s running attack for the Lady Tamaraws’ victory.
The win snapped their two-game skid to improve to 2-2 at fifth.
With FEU at 14-12, Lyann de Guzman kept the Blue Eagles alive with an off-speed hit. She then went to Faith Nisperos exclusively, which saw them save four match points.
“Thankful ako sa mga freshmen ko like Mitzi, Marga, Gerzel, Alyzza. Nag-step up sila para sa team. Hindi ko ine-expect, pero I’m very proud kung ano yung pinakita ng mga freshmen, na talagang sila yung bumuhat sa seniors,” said Lady Tamaraws head coach Tina Salak.
This was FEU’s first win against Ateneo since May 4, 2019. Back then, the 29-time champions forced a rubber match in the Season 81 Final Four with a 10-25, 25-23, 25-22, 12-25, 15-8 victory.
Coming off a sluggish first frame, the Blue Eagles woke up in the second and third with former FEU-Diliman standouts de Guzman and Miner taking charge to take a 2-1 set lead.
But in the fourth, it was the Lady Tamaraws’ time to come alive with a dominant 25-15 salvo to force a decider.
Fernandez delivered 18 points and 13 digs. Meanwhile, Alyzza Devosora and Mitzi Panangin managed 13 and 11 points, respectively.
Eighteen-year-old libero Marga Encarnacion produced 35 digs and 12 excellent receptions. Petallo added nine points, all in the last three sets.
The Blue Eagles, who committed 31 errors, were paced by Nisperos’ 21 points. De Guzman and Miner had 17 and 16 points, respectively, as they drop to 1-3.
Vanie Gandler made a triple-double of 13 points, 16 digs, and 12 excellent receptions. Libero Roma Doromal had 18 digs and 16 receptions.
FEU will look for back-to-back wins on Saturday at the Philsports Arena when it meets University of the Philippine. On the other hand, Ateneo aims to return to its winning ways on Sunday against Adamson University.