The National University Lady Bulldogs stayed undefeated after evading the upset-hungry University of the East Lady Warriors, 25-15, 18-25, 25-23, 25-19, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
After demolishing their foes in the first set, NU suffered a sudden collapse in the second frame. Leading 18-17, the Lady Bulldogs allowed UE to take the next seven points in a blur of aces and errors. NU continued to struggle into the third frame, with the hapless Lady Warriors grabbing a 22-20 lead after a Glayssa Bendong ace.
According to NU head coach Babes Castillo, their slow play in the third set was due to their tentativeness on the court.
“I think there was a bit of reluctance on our part on how we wanted to approach the game. We wanted to go all out pero there was a part of us din na was still a bit reluctant,” said Castillo.
The Lady Bulldogs salvaged the third set thanks to a late run sparked by Jasmine Nabor’s serving, which gave them a 24-22 lead. Jaja Santiago capped the set with a powerful quick hit.
NU controlled the fourth frame, pushing their 13-11 cushion to an insurmountable 19-13 gap to seal the win.
“It was a good win for us, but it’s not a good performance for us. We’ll take it, but we need to improve,” added Castillo, who has not lost a match since taking over for Roger Gorayeb in the off-season.
Jaja Santiago towed the Lady Bulldogs with 23 points off 18 attacks, four blocks, and one ace. Opposite hitter Roselyn Doria added 12 markers.
Mary Ann Mendrez and Shaya Adorador topped the Lady Warriors with 11 points, apiece.
The Lady Bulldogs (3-0) take on fellow undefeated squad and defending champs De La Salle University Lady Spikers (2-0) on Sunday at the FilOil Flying V Centre. UE (0-3) will try to pick up their first win on Saturday against the Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles (0-2).
NU (3) – Santiago 23, Doria 12, Urdas 8, Paran 7, Sato 5, Nabor 3, Doromal 1, Singh 1, Chavez (L)
UE (1) – Adorador 11, Mendrez 11, Abil 6, Rodriguez 5, Bendong 4, Lopez 4, Sta. Maria 1, Baliton 0, Catindig 0, Manabat 0, Arado (L)