UAAP Volleyball: NU wallops UP in straight sets

Myke Miravite
National University sent a strong message to the rest of the league as they swept University of the Philippines in UAAP women's volleyball action

MISMATCH. National University had no problems turning back the UP challenge in straight sets. Photo by Josh Abelda

MANILA, Philippines – As the last leg of the race to the top builds up, National University sent a strong message to the rest of the league as they swept University of the Philippines, 25-17, 26-24, 25-13, in the 76th UAAP Women’s Volleyball tournament, Wednesday, February 5, at The Arena in San Juan City.

The win kept them at pace with league-leaders De La Salle University as the Lady Bulldogs improved their record to 11-1, but they had to subdue a tough resistance from the Lady Maroons who were already out of the running for a playoffs slot. 

Dindin Santiago once again starred for NU as she exploded for 18 points – 15 attacks, two blocks and a service ace – to pull through a repeat of their sweep of UP and position themselves closer to a comfortable spot in the post-season.

The Lady Bulldogs banked on balance scoring as they pounded UP in the opening set with Santiago giving NU its largest lead at 11 points, 21-10 but the Maroons fought back with a 5-2 spurt to pull within seven.

NU’s frontline, however, proved to be too much for the Diliman crew as their +9 in first set attacking lifted them to a 25-17 takeaway. 

With nothing to lose in the game, the Lady Maroons rushed to a 4-1 second frame lead behind their excellent blocking but Santiago and the rest of the Lady Bulldogs worked themselves back into the game to tie the game at 16-all. 

Despite NU’s comeback efforts, UP remained composed as they went on to take set-point, 24-23 but Mina Aganon and Aiko Urdas combined just at the right time to weave a 3-0 run and steal the set, 26-24. 

After a gallant second frame stand, coach Gerry Yee’s wards pewtered off in the third, giving up easy points to NU to hand the set to the Lady Bulldogs, 25-13.

“Siguro masyado kami nagrelax tapos di kami naguusap,” said Santiago. “Dapat pa namin i-improve ‘yung defense namin on our next games. ‘Yung blocking, floor defense, coverage, service receives.”

“Maybe we relaxed [in the second set] and we weren’t communicating. We need to improve our defense on our next games. Our blocking, floor defense, coverage, service receives.” 

NU will try to grab the top spot in their remaining games against Adamson University and the Lady Spikers, who hold a 11-0 record, while UP – which drops to 1-11 – will have Far Eastern University and University of the East as their last assignments this year. –