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UST downs La Salle dynasty, nails first title berth in 8 seasons

 

 

 

MANILA, Philippines – For the first time in 8 seasons, the UST Golden Tigresses booked a ticket to the UAAP women's volleyball finals. 

Rookie sensation Eya Laure came through the final stretch as the Tigresses arrested a late meltdown to hack out a classic five-set win, 25-19, 25-19, 20-25, 23-25, 15-10, and dethrone the La Salle Lady Spikers in their Final Four match at the Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday, May 5.

With the win, the white-hot Tigresses broke the Lady Spikers' decade-long finals appearance streak and clipped their bid for a historic fourth straight crown. 

The super rookie Laure led UST with a career-high 25 points off 21 attacks while veteran Sisi Rondina added 17 markers off 14 spikes and 2 aces.

La Salle's own freshman standout Jolina Dela Cruz led the Lady Spikers' last stand with 12 points all off attacks.

The Tigresses will go up against the winner of the other semifinal series between No. 1 Ateneo and Far Eastern University. 

The fourth-ranked Lady Tamaraws stunned the Lady Eagles in 5 sets on Saturday to force a do-or-die game on Wednesday.

Feeding off leftover energy from their playoff win last Wednesday, UST shot out to an improbable 2-0 lead over the defending champs.

However, the Lady Spikers dug deep and somehow mustered an 8-1 run to take an 18-15 gap in the 3rd set. May Luna's ace extended the run to 22-17 before Des Cheng sealed the deal at 25-20.

More errors hounded the yellow side as 3 straight UST miscues turned to a 15-12 La Salle lead. Although, the Tigresses regrouped off some Laure hammers, a net touch error sealed the game-tying set for La Salle, 25-23.

In those 2 sets, UST gave up 26 errors compared to La Salle's 11.

In the payoff set, both teams traded blows before May Luna's errant hit sent UST up, 8-5.

Luna and Aduke Ogunsanya then helped steer La Salle to a 5-1 run to inch in, 10-11.

But Laure took charge, powering her squad to match point off the block, 14-10, before the star rookie wrapped it up with an emphatic kill. Rappler.com