UAAP Volleyball

NU snaps two-game skid, sweeps reeling UP to brink

JR Isaga

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NU snaps two-game skid, sweeps reeling UP to brink

MVP FORM. NU star spiker Bella Belen at the UAAP Season 85 women's volleyball tournament

UAAP Season 85 Media Team

NU star Bella Belen returns to her MVP form after a scoreless Araneta Coliseum debut against UP, leading the Lady Bulldogs this time to a sweep of the free-falling Maroons

MANILA, Philippines – The NU Lady Bulldogs returned to their winning form after demoralizing back-to-back losses at the UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball tournament with a 25-21, 27-25, 25-20 sweep of the reeling UP Fighting Maroons at the Araneta Coliseum on Saturday, April 1.

Bella Belen – after going scoreless in just one set played in her last game against UP – rebounded with a game-high 19-point effort on 18 attacks and 1 block with 11 excellent receptions as NU rose to a 6-3 record, eliminating the winless UE Lady Warriors (0-9) in the process.

UP, meanwhile, fell to a 1-8 slate off its sixth straight loss and are now on the brink of elimination.

Cess Robles, fresh off a meniscus ailment that hampered her against La Salle, added 11 points, while Lams Lamina tallied 18 excellent sets in the much-needed win.

After a tense second set where UP led as late as 23-22, NU started strong in the pivotal third set with an 8-3 rally off a Sheena Toring ace. Unfazed, the Maroons fought their way back to a 15-all tie and stayed within one as late as 18-19 off a Nika Cabasac off-the-block hit.

However, that was the farthest their upset bid reached as a crucial 4-0 swing capped by an errant Niña Ytang quick attack was all the breathing room the Lady Bulldogs needed. Robles then wrapped things up for good with an off-the-block swing that snagged the antenna on the way down.

“We just brought out what we trained for and what we planned against UP. At least we were successful,” Belen said in Filipino. “Even though our game still wasn’t that smooth, we saw some improvements from our last game.”

Aly Bertolano paced the loss with 12 points, while Nica Celis and Ytang scored 11 and 10, respectively.

NU returns after the Holy Week break with a blockbuster clash against the Adamson Lady Falcons on Wednesday, April 12, 3 pm, at the FilOil EcoOil Centre. UP, meanwhile, tussles with the Ateneo Blue Eagles earlier in the day at 11 am. –

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