MANILA, Philippines – The FEU Lady Tamaraws’ budding Cinderella run in the UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball tournament stays on track with a four-set win over the free-falling UE Lady Warriors, 25-16, 18-25, 25-23, 25-16, at the Araneta Coliseum on Sunday, April 2.
Sophomore spiker Chen Tagaod led FEU’s massive block party, scoring 20 points off 12 attacks, 2 aces, and 6 of the team’s 23 rejections on the way to a 5-5 record.
Three other Lady Tamaraws tallied at least 4 more blocks, led by 5 from Mitzi Panangin, and 4 apiece from Jov Fernandez and Anne Asis.
Gaining steam from a 25-23 escape in the pivotal third set, the in-form Lady Tamaraws ran away with a 9-1 burst to start the fourth, highlighted by a series of Asis quick attacks.
Unable to recover from that opening barrage, the Lady Warriors went down by as many as 9, 17-8, off a Tagaod crosscourt shot, and only got as near as 6, 21-15, off a Ria Nogalez block on Fernandez.
With the game comfortably in reach, Tin Ubaldo reached match point off a rejection on KC Cepada before Panangin wrapped things up with an ace.
“We’re now 5-5 and it feels good. We’re still lacking, but I think for us to sustain our goal, we need to do double time this Holy Week break,” said FEU head coach Tina Salak in Filipino.
“We’ll take a two-day break then back to reality just so they can get inspiration from their families. They all needed it for the longest time because they haven’t had contact with their families. When we come back for training, at least they’d be inspired and have new momentum.”
UE captain Ja Lana topscored with 24 points in the team’s 10th straight loss, while Cepada added 12 points.
FEU will not see the court for two whole weeks, but a huge challenge awaits next in the form of the NU Lady Bulldogs on Sunday, April 16, 12 pm. UE, likewise has a steep mountain to scale in its return as the Adamson Lady Falcons matches up on Saturday, April 15, 12 pm. – Rappler.com
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