UAAP Volleyball

Champion NU destroys hapless UE to punch Final Four ticket, wins 4th straight

JR Isaga

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Champion NU destroys hapless UE to punch Final Four ticket, wins 4th straight

DOMINATING. NU star spiker Bella Belen celebrates a point at the UAAP Season 85 women's volleyball tournament

UAAP Season 85 Media Team

Reigning UAAP women's volleyball MVP Bella Belen erupts for 21 points with 6 aces in just 3 sets as defending champion NU wallops hapless UE to clinch the third Season 85 Final Four berth

MANILA, Philippines – The NU Lady Bulldogs cruised to their most dominant win yet in their UAAP women’s volleyball title defense campaign with a 25-5, 25-15, 25-13 Final Four-clinching rout of the winless UE Lady Warriors at the Mall of Asia Arena on Saturday, April 22.

With the win, the Lady Bulldogs became the third team after twice-to-beat La Salle and Adamson to punch their semis ticket off a 9-3 record, while the Lady Warriors dropped their 12th straight assignment to stay in the cellar.

Reigning MVP Bella Belen was the game’s lone double-digit scorer with a huge 21-point line in just three sets off 13 attacks, 6 of NU’s 13 aces, and 2 blocks.

Alyssa Solomon was a far second with 8 points, while rookie Vange Alinsug chipped in 6 points as 11 Lady Bulldogs overall scored in the lopsided affair.

Setting the tone with a 25-5 demolition in the first set and a 25-15 rout in the second that ended with three straight Belen aces, NU kept its momentum going strong in the third with a pivotal 9-0 run that turned a small 10-9 lead to a 19-9 separation off a Solomon ace.

UE never threatened moving forward as another Belen ace peaked the Lady Bulldogs with a 12-point gap, 22-10, before reserve Myrtle Escanlar put the finishing touches to seal the deal.

“We’re very happy that we applied what we’ve been training for, especially in the service area, where we’re not supposed to have mistakes in anymore,” said Belen in Filipino.

“We had an advantage since we minimized our errors and we just continued our game plan.”

Van Bangayan followed up her 27-point eruption with just 7 points in the forgettable loss, while UE captain Ja Lana only scored 5.

NU takes its momentum to a pivotal match on Wednesday, April 26, 11 am, against the UST Golden Tigresses that could very well dictate which team will get the lone remaining twice-to-beat bonus.

UE, meanwhile, will have its best shot to break through in the win column at 3 pm against the free-falling UP Fighting Maroons that same day at the FilOil EcoOil Centre. –

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