DLSU Lady Spikers: Back-to-back champions

Mia Domingo
La Salle sweeps Ateneo in Game 3 of the UAAP women's volleyball championships
VICTORY. The La Salle Lady Spikers sweep the Ateneo Lady Eagles in three sets to win the UAAP women's volleyball crown. February 29, 2012. Josiah Albelda.


MANILA, Philippines – Without a sweat, the De La Salle University Lady Spikers creamed the Ateneo Lady Eagles in a lopsided Game 3 sweep in the championship round of UAAP women’s volleyball at the Arena in San Juan.

The Lady Spikers eked out the clincher in three sets at 25-16, 25-22 and 25-13 to officially bag their second straight title.

DLSU captain Charleen Abigaile Cruz ran away with the Most Valuable Player of the Finals award after finishing the game with 12 points to lead all scorers for DLSU.

She said, “Super happy lang ako and thankful kay Lord. Na-excite kami nung 3rd set na kasi konti nalang nun. Malapit na sa finish line.”

(I was super happy and thankful to the Lord. We got excited in the 3rd set because we were so close to the finish line.)

ADMU, La Salle’s kryptonite

The Lady Spikers took their Game One loss as an eye opener. According to the 23-year-old Cruz, “Naging eye-opener yun sa amin para magpush pa kami lalo, para maging mas solid. (It became an eye-opener for us to push harder, to solidify our play.)”

La Salle won a close and exciting Game 2.

Cruz, who was a rookie back in 2005, played for five full seasons with DLSU where she bagged four crowns and one runner-up finish.

This is the second season where the DLSU Lady Spikers finished with a 16-1 record. Again, it was the Ateneo Lady Eagles who handed them their solitary loss.

FEISTY SPIKERS. The ladies of DLSU played with heart and fervor to win the UAAP volleyball finals in three sets. February 29, 2012. Josiah Albelda.

DLSU domination

In the first set, after a 15-15 deadlock, the Lady Spikers went on a 10-2 blitz that had them drawing first blood in Game 3.

Season MVP Abigail Maraño scored on the nail-biter in the second set. Losing the drive to win after being down 0-2 in the first two sets, the Lady Eagles trailed by as many as 12 in the third set.

Nung first set palang, pinakiramdaman na namin kung mataas yung adrenaline rush nila. Dun palang nakita na namin na hindi lahat sila maayos yung nilalaro (As early as the first set, we tried to feel out their adrenaline levels. As early as then, we saw that not all of them were playing well),” said La Salle coach Ramil De Jesus.

It was only in the second set when Ateneo had the chance to give the DLSU Lady Spikers a scare when they came within two, 22-24 even with DLSU at match point.

Alyssa Valdez was the only Lady Eagle to finish in double figures with 12 points. Fille Cainglet was limited to a personal season-low output of seven hits.

It was the seventh women’s volleyball crown for the Lady Archers, all of them under De Jesus. With the win, De Jesus now ranks fourth in the list of the winningest coaches in UAAP Volleyball.

DLSU TAKES CROWN. The La Salle Lady Spikers outplayed the Ateneo Lady Eagles in Game 3 of the UAAP women's volleyball finals. February 29, 2012. Josiah Albelda.

Back-to-back champions

La Salle finished with 10 blocks, four of which came from Gumabao. The towering Gumabao also had 11 hits.
“We were able to minimize our errors. And dahil sa last game ni Cha Cruz, ayaw kong maghiwalay kami na hindi champion (Because it was Cha Cruz’s last game, I didn’t want us to separate without being champions),” added De Jesus.

The DLSU Lady Spikers will sport an almost solid line-up next year with Cruz being the only graduating player this season.

Kahit sino makalaban namin, basta ang importante kami ang manalo sa huli. Lahat ng panalo namin, mahirap pero nadala lahat yun sa hard work at training. (It doesn’t matter who we face, what’s important is that in the end, we win. All our victories have been difficult but we did it through hard work in training).” – Rappler.com

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