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MANILA, Philippines – University of Santo Tomas stopped Ateneo’s three-game winning streak in dramatic fashion, eking out a 25-19, 25-21, 29-31, 33-31 victory in the UAAP Season 84 women’s volleyball tournament on Thursday, May 19, at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Eya Laure led the Golden Tigresses with a career-high 31 points to go along with 14 excellent receptions to prop up UST to a second-best 5-2 record.
Trailing 30-31 in the fourth set, UST survived match point as KC Galdones followed it up with a kill block while Laure finished things off with an off-the-block kill.
“Parang six sets,” quipped UST coach Kungfu Reyes after the match that lasted two hours and 28 minutes. “Roller-coaster ride. Pinakamaganda doon ‘yung maexperience ‘yung pagdating sa mga pitpitan ‘yung fighting spirit mo nandoon.”
(It felt like six sets. It was a roller-coaster ride. The best thing about it is we experienced tight situations and the fighting spirit was there.)
With UST ahead by just 2 points, Laure scored 3 of her 9 first-set points in UST’s 6-2 closing run for the early upper hand, 25-19.
By the next frame, UST again overcame an Ateneo challenge before taking a 2-0 set advantage as Galdones and Imee Hernandez’s hits, coupled with two Ateneo errors, highlighted the Golden Tigresses’ 4-2 spurt for a 25-21 edge.
The third set saw an extended battle, and with both teams knotted at 29, Ateneo’s Vanie Gandler delivered from the back row before Ypril Tapia committed an attacking error for UST, 31-29, as the Blue Eagles avoided getting swept.
Hernandez put in half of her 14 points in the fourth set for UST, while Galdones had 12 points, including 3 blocks. Tapia also added 11 points in the win, including 3 in the clinching set.
UST’s Christine Ecalla, though, appeared to have suffered a sprained right ankle after an awkward landing early in the second salvo.
Faith Nisperos paced Ateneo with 22 points while Gandler chalked up 18 points, all from spikes.
The defending champion Blue Eagles fell to 3-4, tied with University of the Philippines for fifth. – Rappler.com