UAAP Volleyball

Solomon leads, Belen bounces back as slow-starting NU dispatches UE

Philip Matel
Solomon leads, Belen bounces back as slow-starting NU dispatches UE

TOPNOTCH. Alyssa Solomon carries the scoring load for the NU Lady Bulldogs

UAAP

The NU Lady Bulldogs overcome another sloppy start before rediscovering their dominant ways to dispose of the UE Lady Warriors

MANILA, Philippines – The NU Lady Bulldogs bucked a mediocre start before making quick work of the hapless UE Lady Warriors in straight sets, 25-23, 25-9, 25-12, in the UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball tournament on Sunday, March 12, at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig.

Alyssa Solomon once again displayed her dominance in the middle with a 15-point performance stemming from a 14-attack, 1-block outing as the Lady Bulldogs improved to 4-1, just behind unbeaten La Salle (5-0).

Reigning MVP Bella Belen, who was scoreless in her team’s previous outing against UP last Wednesday, had a bounce-back game with 13 points.

“You know, we had a slow start. We committed a lot of errors, did not move as well as we wanted,” NU head coach Karl Dimaculangan said after the game, referring to the 10 errors the Lady Bulldogs had in the set.

“In the second and third set, we executed a lot better, and it reflected in our results,” he added.

During the opening set, NU overcame a sloppy finish which saw their 22-19 lead shaved down to a solitary point, 23-22, following a faulty set by Lams Lamina.

With set point at hand, Solomon rectified a service error that made it 24-23 with a down-the-line attack that sealed the deal.

The Lady Bulldogs led by as many as 13 points in the second set, 22-8, courtesy of a down-the-line kill by Belen to help take a commanding 2-0 set advantage.

Erin Pangilinan then clinched the frame with a rejection of Lana at the net, 25-9.

Vanessa Bangayan gave the Lady Warriors its highest point output with 7 markers, as the team sank to 0-5.

In men’s action, the NU Bulldogs averted an upset by the UE Red Warriors, overcoming them in five sets, 22-25, 22-25, 25-14, 25-22, 15-6.

Congolese Obed Mukaba took over in the last two sets, finishing with a total of 18 points built on 8 attacks, 9 blocks, and an ace to help steer the two-time defending champions toward a 5-0 start to the season.

In the fifth set, Mukaba scored 3 points to help his team erect an insurmountable 12-4 advantage.

NU played without outside hitter Nico Almendras in the first set, who was penalized with a yellow and red card prior to the start of the game.

According to UAAP volleyball commissioner Mike Verano, Almendras was sanctioned for his “unsportsmanlike” behavior displayed after a five-set win against the UP Fighting Maroons last Wednesday.

Having finished the contest with 17 markers through four sets, he apologized for his actions.

The team was also without Ken Malinis, who did not play due to illness, according to Almendras in the post-game press conference.

“We are thankful that we were able to win despite losing two starters,” said NU head coach Dante Alinsunurin.

“Also credit to the players for stepping up amid some on-court setbacks,” he added.

MJ Fortuna led the Bulldogs in scoring with 25, 24 of which came from attacks.

UE took a 2-0 set lead before the Bulldogs regained their bearings and forced a decider, following two crucial kills by Mukaba late in the fourth set.

Lloyd Josafat topscored for the Red Warriors with 15, while Kenneth Culabat added 14.

The Red Warriors, on the other hand, fell to 2-3, losing their 18th straight contest to NU dating back to 2010. – Rappler.com

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