MANILA, Philippines – The Ateneo Blue Eagles bounced back in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament with a huge statement sweep of the second-ranked UST Golden Tigresses, 25-20, 25-20, 25-20, at the Mall of Asia Arena on Tuesday, May 31.
Leading scorer Faith Nisperos led the way anew for the defending champions with 18 points off 15 points, 2 aces, and a block, while Joan Narit shined with 11 markers in the win that hiked the fifth-place Eagles’ record back to an even 5-5.
Vanie Gandler scored 12 in her usual backstopping role while Erika Raagas and AC Miner chipped in 8 points apiece in Ateneo’s balanced attack.
Following a pair of 20-25 set losses, UST looked primed for a comeback after tying the third frame, 18-all. However, the Tigresses’ defense got ripped apart as the Eagles sparked up a 5-0 run, capped by a Gandler ace after back-to-back Nisperos points.
UST only got within 20-24 before Nisperos spiked one final kill for Ateneo’s third straight 25-20 finish for the win.
“We just told one another we have to take this win home, but indeed, they wanted to take this win home. We’re not looking at straight sets, we just did our job,” said Ateneo champion coach Oliver Almadro in Filipino.
“We prepared for this and it manifested in our plays. We had lapses, but we recovered right away,” added Almadro, who was looking at a must-win situation to catch up with fourth-placer Adamson.
MVP candidate Eya Laure – after scoring more than 20 points in her last four games – got checked to just 14 markers on an 11-of-38 attack clip, albeit with 14 excellent receptions, and 6 excellent digs to salvage her line.
With the loss, UST dropped to a 7-3 record after seeing its four-game winning streak snapped. Incidentally, the last time the Tigresses lost was also Laure’s last sub-20 scoring game – an 18-point outing against unbeaten NU back in May 14.
Ateneo now aims for a new winning streak against winless UE on Thursday, June 2, 6:30 pm, while UST makes moves toward a bounce-back in another potential thriller against third-ranked La Salle earlier that same day at 12:30 pm. – Rappler.com