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Lady Bulldogs arrest five-game skid, step closer to Final Four

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Tiebreaker Times Lady Bulldogs arrest five-game skid, step closer to Final Four News NU UAAP UE Volleyball  UE Women's Volleyball UAAP Season 80 Women's Volleyball UAAP Season 80 Rod Roque Risa Sato NU Women's Volleyball Me-Ann Mendrez Kath Arado Jasmina Nabor Jaja Santiago Gayle Valdez Babes Castillo
  • UAAP 80 Volleyball NU vs. UE – Santiago-3705

  • UAAP 80 Volleyball NU vs. UE – Sato, Nabor-3512

  • UAAP 80 Volleyball NU vs. UE – Singh-3483

  • UAAP 80 Volleyball NU vs. UE – Valdez-3598

  • UAAP 80 Volleyball NU vs. UE – Abil-3631

  • UAAP 80 Volleyball NU vs. UE – Adorador, Arado-3487

  • UAAP 80 Volleyball NU vs. UE – Adorador, Rodriguez-3505

  • UAAP 80 Volleyball NU vs. UE – Babes Castillo-3660

  • UAAP 80 Volleyball NU vs. UE – Baliton-3732

  • UAAP 80 Volleyball NU vs. UE – Catindig-3653

  • UAAP 80 Volleyball NU vs. UE – Nabor-3645

  • UAAP 80 Volleyball NU vs. UE – Rod Roque-3524

  • UAAP 80 Volleyball NU vs. UE – Santiago-3553

  • UAAP 80 Volleyball NU vs. UE – Santiago-3705
  • UAAP 80 Volleyball NU vs. UE – Sato, Nabor-3512
  • UAAP 80 Volleyball NU vs. UE – Singh-3483
  • UAAP 80 Volleyball NU vs. UE – Valdez-3598
  • UAAP 80 Volleyball NU vs. UE – Abil-3631
  • UAAP 80 Volleyball NU vs. UE – Adorador, Arado-3487
  • UAAP 80 Volleyball NU vs. UE – Adorador, Rodriguez-3505
  • UAAP 80 Volleyball NU vs. UE – Babes Castillo-3660
  • UAAP 80 Volleyball NU vs. UE – Baliton-3732
  • UAAP 80 Volleyball NU vs. UE – Catindig-3653
  • UAAP 80 Volleyball NU vs. UE – Nabor-3645
  • UAAP 80 Volleyball NU vs. UE – Rod Roque-3524
  • UAAP 80 Volleyball NU vs. UE – Santiago-3553

Riding a nightmarish, month-long tailspin, the National University Lady Bulldogs finally broke into the second round win column, dispatching the University of the East Lady Warriors, 26-24, 26-24, 25-20 at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

NU, the top team after the first round, clings to a Final Four spot after improving their record to 7-6. They eliminated the UST Golden Tigresses (4-8) and the UP Lady Maroons (5-8) from semifinals contention. If the Adamson Lady Falcons (5-7) lose their next match against the DLSU Lady Spikers (9-2) on Wednesday, the Lady Bulldogs outright claim the last Final Four seat.

The Lady Bulldogs seemed set for disaster early in the match, trailing UE 22-24 in the first set. But NU captain Jaja Santiago mustered three consecutive hits, setting up a UE blocking error to end the set.

UE took their turn rallying back in the second set. Following an NU burst that gave them a 24-20 lead, the Lady Warriors quickly retaliated with a 4-0 run, capped by two Me-Ann Mendrez aces. Like in the first set, Santiago rescued her team in the late game, pitching in two straight hits to hand NU a 2-0 sets lead.

The third set was all NU as they took a 20-14 lead and never looked back.

“Siyempre, masaya ako na unti-unti, nakikita namin na bumabalik na ‘yung teamwork ng team, and ‘yung talagang laro ng bawat isa. Though may kulang pa, pero nakita ko na ang ganda ng laro namin. Kung ano tinraining namin kahapon, lumabas,” said the graduating Santiago, who finished with 22 points to lead all scorers.

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“Sobrang bigat. Kada training, iniisip namin na kaya natin to. Pero meron din na ‘wala ng pag-asa.’ Pero makikita mo sa bawat isa na walang sumusuko, kahit minsan nagkaka-iyakan na kami,” the national team stalwart added.

Filipino-Japanese middle blocker Risa Sato managed 13 points after going scoreless in their last outing.

The Lady Bulldogs, even if Adamson wins all their remaining matches, can clinch a Final Four set with a win in their final elimination round match on Sunday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena against the FEU Lady Tamaraws (8-4).

Me-Ann Mendrez les the Lady Warriors with 14 points. Kath Arado maintained her incrdible form, nabbing 30 digs and 15 excellent receptions.

UE (2-10) end their season on Saturday at the Blue Eagle Gym against the UP Lady Maroons.

The Scores

NU (3) – Santiago 22, Sato 13, Doria 9, Doromal 4, Singh 4, Paran 3, Urdas 3, Nabor 2, Valdez (L)

UE (0) – Mendrez 14, Adorador 11, Abil 8, Bendong 6, Rodriguez 3, Baliton 2, Lopez 2, Manabat 0, Catindig 0, Arado (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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