MANILA, Philippines – The NU Lady Bulldogs moved one win away from a historic UAAP women’s volleyball title after dominating the La Salle Lady Spikers, 25-20, 25-12, 25-21, in Game 1 of the Season 84 finals at the Mall of Asia Arena on Saturday, June 18.
Still unbeaten this season, the national team-caliber Lady Bulldogs can complete a rare 16-0 sweep – the first since Ateneo in Season 77 – on Tuesday, June 21, 6:30 pm.
Rookie-MVP candidate Bella Belen led another balanced attack with 15 points off 11 spikes, 2 blocks, and 2 aces in the statement sweep while Alyssa Solomon also scored 15.
Following a decent effort in Set 1, La Salle’s defenses completely fell apart in the pivotal second set as Belen led NU’s charge to double up the Lady Spikers, 20-10.
Cess Robles and Ivy Lacsina – who finished the game with 12 points apiece – then put the finishing touches on defense before Belen closed the set out with a booming backrow kill for the 25-12 blowout.
Despite their best efforts to mount a comeback, the Lady Spikers only got within 20-22 in the third, before NU again broke away off back-to-back Alyssa Solomon points, 24-20. Belen then hammered home the finishing kill to help the Lady Bulldogs set the tone in the best-of-three series
“We just used the stepladder [break] to prepare and polish our moves. When we learned who our opponent would be, that’s when we started to study them,” said head coach Karl Dimaculangan in Filipino.
“It turned out great because we executed well, but we still had some silly mistakes which we still need to work on.”
No La Salle player even breached double-digit scoring in the demoralizing loss as Leila Cruz led the way with just 6 points. Jolina dela Cruz, Leiah Malaluan, and Fifi Sharma, meanwhile, all scored just 5 each. – Rappler.com