MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The UST Golden Tigresses brought their hot streak to the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball finals with a straight-sets stunner, 25-17, 25-16, 25-20, over the Ateneo Lady Eagles in Game 1 on Saturday, May 11, at the Araneta Coliseum.
With momentum carried off double individual awards for new MVP Sisi Rondina and Rookie of the Year Eya Laure, UST roared away to an early 2-0 lead over the grounded Lady Eagles.
Rondina ran wild all over the Ateneo defense with skyscraping kills and a good helping of blocks. Laure got her usual hits as well, but it was Ysa Jimenez who outshone her fellow rookies with timely quick hits to help the Tigresses’ runs.
Ateneo regrouped for a while in the 3rd set, but again fell apart as Jimenez and Rondina conspired to lift UST to the 2nd technical timeout up 5, 16-11
Rondina pummelled home two more hits for match point before Ateneo sealed its own three-set destruction off an attack error.
Queen Tigress Rondina finished with 23 points off 20 attacks, 2 blocks and an ace in a dominant UST showing that also gave the Tigresses their first win over Ateneo since 2012.
“Magandang morale boost para sa mga bata,” UST coach Kung Fu Reyes said of their historic win. “Sabi nga sa history, medyo matagal na pero di ko na masyadong dinidiin regarding dun kasi sabi sa amin, players of the present kami. Mangyayari na lang yan kung tatrabahuin namin.”
(It’s a good morale boost for the kids. History says our last win against Ateneo was a long time ago, but I’m not dwelling on that too much because we are players of the present. This will happen if we work for it.)
Laure chipped in 11 points while Jimenez had 6 in star-making performances.
Kat Tolentino led Ateneo in the losing effort with 12 points while Maddie Madayag and Jules Samonte added 6 markers apiece.
The Tigresses have a chance to nail their first championship since Season 72 on Wednesday, May 15, at the Mall of Asia Arena. Before the game, Rondina and Laure along with other stars will officially be awarded for their season-long excellence. – Rappler.com