Final Four-bound University of Santo Tomas rediscovered its angst in the decider to down University of the Philippines, 25-21, 25-20, 22-25, 19-25, 15-6, at the end of the UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball elimination round on Sunday at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.
Ahead by just two in the fifth set, 5-3, Regina Jurado was consistent at the service line with three aces while Eya Laure feasted with her heavy attacks for eight unanswered Golden Tigresses points, 13-3.
“Very thankful kasi nanalo kami. Collective effort, syempre may mga umaangat na player,” said coach Kungfu Reyes. “Syempre yung pride namin na mag exit kami with a win dito sa last game ng elimination para at least dadalhin namin yung aral na nakuha namin bakit umabot ng five sets.”
On Wednesday, UST will be up against twice-to-beat De La Salle University in the Final Four. The Tigresses and the Lady Spikers last met in the Final Four in 2019.
Alyssa Bertolano unloaded back-to-back hits while Regina Jurado and Cassie Carballo committed two straight errors to give UP the third, 25-22.
Then in the fourth, the Fighting Maroons were just ahead 21-19 before the Golden Tigresses made back-to-back lapses before Niña Ytang and Ethan Arce drilled a running attack and a service ace, respectively, to force a fifth frame.
Xyza Gula played as UST libero and tallied 22 digs and 11 excellent receptions as Bernadett Pepito did not play due to dehydration. Milena Alessandrini wore a libero uniform but was not fielded due to recurring pain in her knee.
Laure came up huge with 28 points on 26 attacks and two blocks to go with 14 digs, while Jurado had 15 points on 11 attacks and three service aces.
Imee Hernandez netted 14 points while Renren Peñafiel added 11 points for the Golden Tigresses.
The Fighting Maroons suffered their 11th straight defeat to end the season at 1-13.
Ytang led UP with 17 points, while Steph Bustrillo and Bertolano made 14 and 12 points, respectively.