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Valdez leads Lady Eagles past former coach, Lady Bulldogs

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Alyssa Valdez put in her fifth 20-point outing as she powered her Ateneo Lady Eagles over the NU Lady Bulldogs and former Ateneo coach Roger Gorayeb, 25-18, 25-21, 25-22 at the packed San Juan Arena.

The Lady Eagles imposed their offensive dominance from the get-go, yielding a 42-26 spike advantage. Ateneo team captain Valdez drove in a game-high 20 markers with 18 coming off spikes and two from aces. Kiwi Amy Ahomiro turned in her third double-digit scoring outbreak with 10 markers, four coming off blocks.

Trailing 6-8 early in the first set, Ateneo rallied behind veterans Ella De Jesus, Valdez and Ahomiro, demolishing NU with a 15-0 run. Down 21-8, NU amped up their play at the net, getting as close as 23-17 but Ateneo’s spiking was just too much as Valdez converted consecutive spikes to seal the set for her team.

NU kept pace with the Lady Eagles early in the second set trailing 6-8. Ateneo’s offense continued to churn, turning in a myriad of hits off combination plays to pump their lead up to five. NU threatened to take control of the set, trimming the lead down to as little as two but Ateneo quickly answered all NU advances to take the set.

The Bulldogs again kept it close to open the third frame, polishing their digging and reception to pull them to a 10-10 tie. The Lady Bulldogs’ offense petered out from there, notching multiple attack errors and pushing Ateneo to a 17-11 advantage. NU mounted one last ditch effort, tying the game at 21. But Ateneo gnawed down the Lady Bulldogs with stellar attacks and impenetrable defense to win their eighth game in a row.

“Siyempre kilala naman kami ni Coach Roger personally pati yung skills namin alam niya. Job lang din naman Coach Roger na paghandaan kami like other teams,” said Valdez.

With the win, Ateneo is on track to sweep the tournament at 8-0 while NU still holds solo third place with a 4-4 slate. The defending champs will face the slumping AdU Lady Falcons at the MoA Arena on Wednesday while NU has UST on the same game day.

“Iyung Adamson for sure binibigyan iyung mga kalaban nila ng magandang laban pero I’m sure may plans din si Coach Tai for us,” said Valdez.

The scores:

ADMU – Valdez 20, Ahomiro 10, Maraguinot 8, De Jesus 7, De Leon 5, Morado 4, Gequillana 0, Lazaro (L) 0

NU – Santiago 10, Singh 9, Pablo 8, Mabdapat 3, Soliven 2, Doromal 2, Dadang 1, Perez 0, Valdez (L) 0, General (L) 0

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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