UAAP Volleyball

Thea Gagate leads La Salle’s block party on winless UE to stay unbeaten

JR Isaga

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Thea Gagate leads La Salle’s block party on winless UE to stay unbeaten

WALLED. La Salle middle blocker Thea Gagate talks to her teammates at the UAAP Season 85 women's volleyball tournament

UAAP Season 85 Media Team

La Salle blocker Thea Gagate and spiker Jyne Soreno lead a Lady Spikers' defensive masterclass, stifling UE's early upset bid to rise to a 4-0 record

MANILA, Philippines – The La Salle Lady Spikers put on a late defensive masterclass to kick off the UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball quadruple-header slate, sweeping the winless UE Lady Warriors, 25-20, 25-21, 25-14, at the Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, March 8.

Thea Gagate led the Cubao block party with 13 points off 8 attacks and 5 blocks as La Salle’s slate stayed clean at 4-0. Super rookie Angel Canino took a backseat with 10 points, while Jyne Soreno made the most of extended playing time with 7 points off 4 rejections and 3 attacks.

Coming off a slow start where they allowed multiple UE attacks to pass through their defenses, including 19 in the second set alone, the Lady Spikers finally woke up in the third frame, rallying from an early 0-2 hole to mount a 15-6 lead and never look back.

The Lady Warriors only showed a fraction of the fight it had in the first two sets near the end, as Gagate fittingly ended her defensive showcase with one last block on UE captain Ja Lana for the win.

“Actually we started too slow. We were too complacent,” rued La Salle interim coach Noel Orcullo in Filipino.

“That’s what I keep saying where once you don’t respect the opponent, you get a chance to be beaten, and that’s what happened in the first two sets. The opponent was matching our plays.”

Vanessa Bangayan paced UE’s descent to a 0-4 record with a game-high 14 points, all off attacks, while Lana added 11 points, also purely off spikes.

La Salle aims to rehash its learnings on complacency as it is once again favored in its next game on Saturday, March 11, 12 pm, against the FEU Lady Tamaraws at the PhilSports Arena.

UE’s harsh stretch, meanwhile, looks to stay that way for now as the defending champion NU Lady Bulldogs await on Sunday, March 12, 12 pm, also at PhilSports. –

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