ANTIPOLO CITY, Philippines (UPDATED) – The University of the Philippines' (UP) proved that its victory over La Salle was no fluke.
The Lady Maroons pulled off another massive upset over the La Salle Lady Spikers, but this time in even more convincing fashion – a straight-set decision, 25-16, 26-24, 25-19, at the start of their second-round campaigns in the UAAP Season 81 women's volleyball tournament on Sunday, March 24, at the Ynares Center here.
It's the first time since 2017 that La Salle got swept by an opponent in the elimination round. Ateneo was the last to pull of the feat in Season 79 when the eventual champion Lady Eagles also dominated the Lady Spikers before the playoffs.
Both UP and La Salle fell into a four-way logjam for 2nd at 5-3 with University of Santo Tomas and Far Eastern University.
Tots Carlos led the Lady Maroons with 13 points, all from spikes, while Isa Molde had 11 points.
“Is this the peak of UP? No. I still feel there’s more to come,” said UP head coach Godfrey Okumu. "We still can play better. It’s just a matter of time. But again, it was a good game. It’s our lucky day today. It’s our day today."
Desiree Cheng was La Salle's lone double-digit scorer as she tallied 11 points off 8 attacks, 2 aces and 1 block.
The Lady Spikers committed a total of 37 errors that plagued them in the heated match.
UP – which stunned La Salle in 5 sets in the first round – took control from the get-go as La Salle suffered from a total of 10 errors, allowing the Lady Maroons to cruise to a 25-16 win in the opening frame.
With rookie Marrione Alba taking charge of the playmaking in the 2nd set, La Salle managed to pull away early in the frame. But back-to-back errors from the defending champions' side knotted the score at 19-all.
The Lady Maroons prevailed down the stretch of the 2nd set as Jolina dela Cruz's service error and Jessma Ramos' quick gave UP the extended-set win, 26-24, and a 2-0 lead in the match.
By the 3rd frame, UP again quickly overturned La Salle’s 6-2 start to take a slim 8-7 lead. The Lady Maroons then pulled away, 23-18, as La Salle collapsed anew with a spate of errors. – Rappler.com
More commonly known as “Bee”, Beatrice is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Phillippine sports governance, national teams, football and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.