FEU Lady Tamaraws rally back to take season-opener win over Ateneo
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Far Eastern University (FEU) Lady Tamaraws capped off the opening weekend of UAAP Season 80 Volleyball with a 5-set win over the Ateneo Lady Eagles, 19-25, 25-21, 18-25, 25-20, 15-9 on Sunday, February 4, at the Mall of Asia Arena.
In the deciding set, the Lady Eagles aimed to set the tone with a 6-1 advantage, which was eventually countered by FEU to tie the set at 6-all. A distribution error within Ateneo halted the back-and-forth action and the Lady Tams rallied back from a 7-9 disadvantage, closing the game with 8 straight points.
This is FEU's first win over Ateneo since Season 75.
The Lady Tamaraws stand at 1-0 while the Lady Eagles fell to 0-1 in the UAAP Season 80 Women's Volleyball tournament.
Team Captain Bernadeth Pons and Toni Basas led FEU with 14 points apiece. Basas made 6 out of the team's 20 service aces, including two crucial ones in the 5th set rally.
Jhoana Maraguinot led the Ateneo Lady Eagles with 21 points of 19 spikes, while defending the backrow with 11 successful receives.
The Lady Eagles broke away from the stalemate in the first set as the Lady Tamaraws fumbled with errors and surrendered 7 straight points to Ateneo.
Despite seeing Ateneo get off to an 8-2 headstart in the second set, the Lady Tamaraws did not trail for long. Celine Domingo answered back with a quick drop to tie the score at 12–all and Cayuna made back-to-back service aces to nab a 2-point cushion, 14-12.
Ateneo's defense started to suffer as Basas made 3 service aces that saw FEU pull away, 21-18. Basas finished her heroics in the second set as she found an opening to tie the match at one set apiece.
As Ateneo was leading 7-4 in the 3rd set, Kat Tolentino and Deanna Wong accidentally met on a head-to-head collision. The Lady Tamaraws continued to shift the momentum towards their side as Domingo made back-to-back aces to complete FEU's 6-0 scoring run and tie the game at 7-all.
The Lady Eagles then took the lead, 15-9, but the streaky FEU countered with another 4-0 run. Errors plagued both sides of the court, but the Lady Eagles were more in control of their offense which saw Jules Samonte's last attack give the Lady Eagles the 2-1 advantage in the match.
Tied at 8-all in the 4th set, the Lady Tamaraws made a 4-0 run for a 12-8 advantage. The Lady Eagles rallied back to equalize the score at 12-all as an FEU attack sailed wide. The momentum stayed with the Tamaraws as Bernadeth Pons brought the Lady Tamaraws to a set point. A service error by Wong saw the game head into a deciding set.
FEU (102) – Pons 14, Basas 14, Domingo 10, Cayuna 9, Villareal 6, Guino-o 5, Malabanan 3, Hernandez 1.
Ateneo (100) – Maraguinot 21, Tolentino 14, Samonte 9, De Leon 8, Wong 4, Madayag 4, Eleazar 1.
Set Scores: 19-25, 25-21, 18-25, 25-20, 15-9.