MANILA, Philippines – The Ateneo Blue Eagles breezed past the UE Lady Warriors in a fourth-set rout after giving away the third frame in their UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball tournament breakthrough win, 25-17, 25-23, 24-26, 25-10, at the Mall of Asia Arena on Wednesday, March 1.
Co-captains Faith Nisperos and Vanie Gandler led the win with 14 points apiece, while Geezel Tsunashima put her name out as a possible third option with 13 points in just three sets played.
It was an up-and-down performance for the Blue Eagles in the first three sets, highlighted by a late collapse in the third frame where they went from having match point, 24-22, to losing the set entirely off a 4-0 UE run, capped by a Vanessa Bangayan ace.
Ateneo finally got its bearings back in the fourth set after whipping UE with an 8-0 start, ending with a Tsunashima off-the-block hit to force the first technical timeout.
The Lady Warriors never threatened from that point as the Blue Eagles held a double-digit lead all the way to the end, where back-to-back KC Cepada attack errors gifted the win over to the blue side.
Cepada tied Nisperos and Gandler with a game-high 14 points, while Riza Nogales added 9 points off 6 attacks, 2 blocks, and 1 ace.
Ateneo seeks to start a winning streak, but it won’t by any means be an easy task as it next faces its bitter rival La Salle Lady Spikers on Sunday, March 5, 3 pm, while UE takes on the UP Fighting Maroons at 11 am. – Rappler.com
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