MANILA, Philippines – The National University (NU) Lady Bulldogs sealed their place on top of the standings at the expense of the University of the Philippines (UP) Lady Maroons in straight sets, 25-23, 25-23, 25-17, on Sunday, March 4, at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
The Lady Bulldogs capitalized on the Lady Maroons' errors, securing a 5-point lead early in the 3rd set, 14-9. NU continued to pull away and later, back-to-back errors by UP gave the match point to NU and Jaja Santiago's attack closed out the match.
The Lady Bulldogs now have a 6-1 record while the Lady Maroons fell to 2-5 in the UAAP Season 80 Women's Volleyball tournament.
This is the first time that the Lady Bulldogs finished the first round with a solo first seed standing.
Santiago tallied a team-high of 17 points and Risa Sato chipped in 10 points while making 6 excellent digs. Jasmine Nabor made 32 excellent sets.
Tots Carlos led the Lady Maroons with 15 points off 14 spikes and an ace. Isa Molde followed with 11 points off 9 spikes and 2 blocks.
After both teams traded attacks, the Lady Maroons broke the stalemate with Tots Carlos scoring off the block, 16-13. Jaja Santiago sparked the Lady Bulldogs' 7-1 run that was punctuated by a Roma Doromal ace.
As Roselyn Doria scored off the block to bring NU to set point, UP took 3 straight points capped off by an Ayel Estrañero ace, 24-23. A net touch by UP gave the first set to NU.
The Lady Bulldogs were in control early in the second set but Isa Molde's efforts cut the deficit to one and Carlos' back-to-back attacks edged out NU by one, 18-17. The Lady Bulldogs raced to set point and took a 4-1 run capped off by Santiago's attack, 24-22.
NU failed to receive Molde's attack but Maris Layug committed a service error that gave NU a 2-0 lead to the match.
NU (3) – Santiago 17, Sato 10, Doria 6, Nabor 6, Paran 5, Doromoal 3, Urdas 3, Singh 1.
UP (0) – Carlos 15, Molde 11, Buitre 5, Layug 4, Estranero 2, Cailing 1.
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.