DLSU Lady Spikers turn down FEU's late spark in 5-set thriller
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Spikers took control of the 5th set and defeated the Far Eastern University (FEU) Lady Tamaraws in 5 sets, 25-22, 25-17, 24-26, 23-25, 15-7, on Wednesday, February 14 at the Filoil Flying V Centre
After being tied at 5-all in the deciding set, the DLSU Lady Spikers escaped the stalemate with 4 straight points capped by a service ace from Kim Dy, 9-5. Four attack errors from FEU cost them crucial points as the Lady Spikers pulled away with the lead and Desiree Cheng closed the game with spike in the middle.
The defending champions are tied with National University with identical perfect 3-0 records, while the Lady Tamaraws fell to a 1-2 card and a two-game losing skid.
Dy led the Lady Spikers with 18 points off 15 attacks, two blocks and one ace, followed by Majoy Baron's 16 points. Michelle Cobb made 49 excellent sets while Dawn Macandili made 34 excellent digs.
Bernadeth Pons registered 21 points and 22 excellent digs for the Lady Tamaraws. Celine Domingo followed with 12 points who made half of the team's blocks with 5 solo blocks.
The Lady Spikers got off to a 5-0 start and raced to a 15-5 lead over the Lady Tamaraws in the opening set. FEU still put up a fight late in the set as Jerrili Malabanan's attack that landed on the line capped off the Lady Tamaraws' 3 unanswered points to cut the deficit to two, 24-22. DLSU claimed the set after a distribution error within FEU sent the ball straight to the net.
The Lady Spikers continued to ride on their momentum with another strong 4-1 start to the second set. With Bernadeth Pons leading the charge for FEU, a wide attack by Arriane Layug cut the Lady Tamaraws’s deficit to 3, 18-5. DLSU pulled away once again that saw Dy’s attack bring it to set point, 24-17.
Pons’ attack error capped FEU’s total of 12 unforced errors in the set and gave DLSU a 2-0 lead in the match.
The Lady Tamaraws prevented a repeat of their first two sets as they were able to cut the deficit to one, 9-8, via Celine Domingo’s block. Pons was able to receive help from her teammates in the 3rd set to keep within reach of DLSU.
Crucial errors in DLSU's last stretch in the 3rd set gave FEU hope as two consecutive attacks from FEU cut the deficit to one, 23-22. Season 79 MVP Majoy Baron sent a spike down the middle to bring DLSU to a set point, but the Lady Tamaraws' 3 straight points extended the set in favor of FEU, 25-24. Pons finished the 3rd set with an off-speed attack which allowed FEU to take one set from the match.
The Lady Tamaraws returned to the 4th set with renewed flame as they pulled away with an early 8-3 lead over the Lady Spikers. DLSU continued to suffer with their first ball and trailed the Lady Tamaraws, 14-8. Three straight errors by FEU cut the lead to 3 (14-11), but Chinchin Basas attack stopped DLSU’s scoring momentum.
Aduke Ogunsanya sparked a late 4th set DLSU rally with a huge block and a service ace. Two wide attacks from Pons also punctuated DLSU's 4-0 run that cut the lead to one point, 20-19. Cheng tied the set with an ace, but commited a service error in the next sequence. Baron committed a service error and Heather Guino-o extended the match to a 5th set with a service ace.
DLSU (3) – Dy 18, Baron 16, Ogunsanya 11, Cheng 11, Tiamzon 6, Luna 2, Layug 3, Cobb 1.
FEU (2) – Pons 21, Domingo 12, Basas 11, Villareal 10, Guino-o 6, Cayuna 4, Negrito 2, Malabanan 2, Hernandez 1.