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MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The University of Santo Tomas (UST) Golden Tigresses crashed back to the win column and eliminated the University of the East (UE) Lady Warrriors from the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament playoff race.
UST stayed on track for a Final Four berth with a straight-set win, 25-20, 25-20, 25-16, over UE on Saturday, April 6, at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Golden Tigresses broke away from a three-way logjam with University of the Philippines and Far Eastern University (FEU) Lady Tamaraws to clinch solo 3rd spot at 7-4.
The Lady Warriors fell to their ninth loss, which eliminated them from playoff contention.
UST’s rookie star Eya Laure continued to lead the team with 14 points off 12 attacks, 1 block and 1 spike while freshman spiker Ysa Jimenez had a breakout game of 10 points from 6 attacks, 1 block and 3 aces.
UST head coach Emilio “Kung Fu” Reyes was happy with how his bench players like Jimenez stepped up for the team.
“Maganda pa rin ‘yung naging game kahit papano. Luckily, may panibagong player kami na nagstep-up sa team so that’s the beauty of it na may strong 13-woman lineup kami na any moment puwede magpalit ng tao,” said Reyes.
(The result was still good. Luckily, we had another player that stepped up, so that’s the beauty of having a strong 13-woman lineup because we can substitute anyone in.)
Judith Abil was the Lady Warriors’ lone double-digit scorer with 11 points from 10 attacks and 1 block.
After UE held a slim lead over the Golden Tigresses in the opening frame, 8-7, UST pulled away with a run sparked by Jimenez’ back-to-back service aces, 17-15.
Errors doomed the Lady Warriors’ comeback bid as UST took the opening frame, 25-20.
UST assumed control of the 2nd set after a massive 8-1 run highlighted by 3 service aces, 16-9.
Although UE closed it to a one-point game, 19-20, the Lady Warriors’ back-to-back errors again stretched the lead for UST as the España-based squad nabbed another 25-20 decision for a 2-0 lead in the match.
UE looked to turn things around with a 9-5 lead in the first technical timeout of the 3rd set, but UST managed to tie the game at 9-all.
Jimenez powered the Golden Tigresses anew to take the lead, 14-12 and UST never looked back to seal the win. – Rappler.com