NU Lady Bulldogs snap skid, clinch playoffs berth at UE's expense
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – They couldn't have done it better.
The National University (NU) Lady Bulldogs finally snapped their 5-game skid at the expense of the University of the East (UE) Lady Warriors with a sweep, 26-24, 26-24, 25-20, on Sunday, April 8, at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
The Lady Bulldogs rode on the momentum of taking the first two sets as they got off to a strong 8-3 start in the 3rd set. UE answered back from the deficit to tie it at 10-all, which saw Aiko Urdas come off the bench and make immediate impact to build up the lead for NU.
After keeping a comfortable lead until the last stretch of the match, Jasmine Nabor brought it to match point and a distribution error by UE gave the Lady Bulldogs their first win in the second round.
With NU clinching a playoff appearance, this eliminates the University of the Philippines and the University of Santo Tomas from a post-season berth.
The Lady Bulldogs now stand at 7-6, while the Lady Warriors fell to 2-9 with a 4-game skid in the UAAP Season 80 Women's Volleyball tournament.
Jaja Santiago led the Lady Bulldogs with 22 points off 18 spikes, 3 blocks, and one ace. Jasmine Nabor tossed up 41 excellent sets in the match.
Me-an Mendrez topscored for the Lady Warriors with 14 points from 12 spikes and two aces. Kath Arado made 30 excellent digs and 15 excellent receptions.
After a 15-all tie in the first set, Judith Abil made 3 straight aces in UE's 4-0 run. Risa Sato lifted the Lady Bulldogs with 3 straight attacks to cut the deficit to one, 20-19.
UE managed to escape with the lead as Shaya Adorador brought it to set point, but two straight attacks from Santiago extended the set and back-to-back errors by UE gifted NU with 1-0 match advantage.
The Lady Bulldogs controlled the second set as they pulled away to a 16-10 advantage by the second technical timeout. As NU maintained a 6-point cushion, the Lady Warriors rallied back with a 10-4 run, capped off by Mendrez's back-to-back aces to extend the set.
Santiago proved to be the hero again by closing out the set with back-to-back attacks.
NU (3) – Santiago 22, Sato 13, Doria 9, Singh 4, Paran 3, Urdas 3, Nabor 2.
UE (0) – Mendrez 14, Adorador 11, Abil 8, Bendong 6, Rodriguez 3, Olarve 2, Baliton 2, Lopez 2, Manabat 1.