MANILA, Philippines – The NU Lady Bulldogs got back to their winning ways after a rare loss at the expense of the UP Fighting Maroons, albeit still with a shocking first-set slip-up, 18-25, 25-17, 25-11, 25-11, in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, March 8.
After MVP Bella Belen and Best Libero Jen Nierva got benched in NU’s unexpected opening frame, Sheena Toring picked up the slack with 14 points off 7 attacks, a game-high 6 aces, and 1 block as the Lady Bulldogs tied Adamson with a 3-1 record.
Rookie spiker Vange Alinsug also made the most of her extra playing time with 13 points off the bench, tying Alyssa Solomon’s scoring effort for the game, while captain Cess Robles scattered 11 points off 6 attacks, 3 aces, and 2 blocks.
Hurting from its last loss against UST and a stunning first-set loss to UP, NU did not get going until late in the second set, which then translated to a huge win in the third for the 2-1 set lead.
Determined to keep its upset fire alive, UP knotted the game 9-all early in the fourth set. However, Toring did not want any part of another loss to the underdog Maroons and fired off 3 of her 6 aces in a pivotal 10-0 run that hiked NU’s lead to an insurmountable 19-9 distance.
UP only managed two more points before an Erin Pangilinan quick attack and an Alinsug ace – the Lady Bulldogs’ 16th for the game – sealed the deal for good.
“We were all regretful after the UST loss, but we got this job done, so hopefully, the wins keep coming and we carry this momentum to the next games,” said NU head coach Karl Dimaculangan in Filipino.
Steph Bustrillo paced UP’s early valiant showing with 13 points, all off attacks, while Alyssa Bertolano added 9 points in the loss that sent the Maroons down a 1-3 slate.
NU continues its search for a more dominant showing on Sunday, March 12, 12 pm, against the winless but hungry UE Lady Warriors, while UP hopes to next trip up the UST Golden Tigresses on Sunday, March 11, 12 pm. Both games will be held at the PhilSports Arena. – Rappler.com
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