The University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses did what two previous contenders could not: sweep the University of the East.
As the race to the UAAP Season 81 Women’s Volleyball tournament Final Four gets tighter, the Golden Tigresses gained a valuable edge with a 25-20, 25-20, 25-16, win over the Lady Warriors at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Facing a UE side that figured in two straight five-setters, UST were decisive. The España-based program gained big leads midway through each set, thanks to unstoppable attacking from Sisi Rondina and Eya Laure.
The graduating Rondina finished with 14 points, while Laure added 11.
The Tigresses got a crucial boost from rookie Ysa Jimenez, who hopped off the bench and pitched in 10 points. Jimenez had scored nine total points through UST’s first 10 games.
“It just proves na thirteen-woman strong talaga ‘yung team,” said UST head coach Kungfu Reyes. “Sa amin, sure na gagawa si Sisi at Eya. Ang crucial is may ibang pumasok and mag-contribute din.”
UST improved their record to 7-4, half a game ahead of the UP Lady Maroons and FEU Lady Tamaraws for the third seed. The latter two teams face off later today.
Judith Abil powered UE’s offense with 11 points to go with 15 excellent receptions and eight digs. Libero Kath Arado had another efficient match with 21 digs and a 12-for-17 reception line.
UST face UP(6-4) on Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre. UE (2-9) take on the Adamson University Lady Falcons (1-9) on Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
UST (3) – Rondina 14, Laure 11, Jimenez 10, Galdones 8, Viray 5, Galanza 4, Balcorta 0, Pacres 0, Roldan 0, Delerio (L)
UE (0) – Abil 11, Mendrez 6, Gabarda 5, Baliton 4, Olarve 2, Bendong 1, Babol 0, Clavano 0, Manabat 0, Rodriguez 0, Arado (L)