Lady Eagles frustrate Falcons, gain solo second


MANILA, Philippines –  In a duel of top schools bracing for the UAAP volley wars, Ateneo-Motolite kept its poise in the clutch and subdued Adamson-Akari, 17-25, 25-23, 25-20, 21-25, 15-12, to firm up its bid in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Open Conference at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan on Sunday, October 14.

Kat Tolentino put in a 28-hit game – including key hits in the early going of the 5th where the Lady Eagles took control, 4-0 and 9-4 – and a late kill that helped cushion the impact of the Lady Falcons’ spirited comeback and put them at match point, 14-12.

Rookie Vanessa Gandler finished off the Lady Falcons with a hit which top Adamson hitter Berndette Flora had failed to control, enabling the Lady Eagles to escape with the win, their fourth victory against a loss, just behind the BanKo-Perlas Spikers, who are unbeaten in 5 starts.

Adamson fell to 0-6 as it failed to sustain a stirring fightback from 4-9 down in the 5th set with 4 straight hits. The Lady Falcons pulled within one again, 12-13, on a Krich Macaslang spike but Tolentino hammered in a kill and Gandler stepped up to fire the clincher after a brief but frenzied rally to the finish.

“It’s all about trusting each other. My teammates put their heart and everything in the game,” said Tolentino after turning in another explosive performance.

The two teams actually faced off after contrasting fortunes Saturday with Adamson receiving a three-set thumping from PetroGazz and Ateneo shutting out the Iriga-Navy. But the Lady Falcons showed their staying power and jumped the gun on the Lady Eagles in the opening set.

Stunned, the Katipunan-based squad struck back in the next two but got clobbered by a hot-starting Adamson side in the fourth that saw the Lady Falcons string up the first 6 points and build leads of 17-7 and 20-9.

The Lady Eagles did charge back, threatening at 18-22 on a Tolentino hit through the block from the backrow but Chiara Permentilla snapped Adamson’s spell with a smash and the Lady Falcons forced a 5th set on a Flora hit and an Ateneo violation. –