Defending champion De La Salle University and last year’s runner-up Ateneo de Manila University blasted their respective foes to stay at the No. 2 spot in University Athletic Association Season 79 women’s volleyball tournament on Wednesday at The Arena in San Juan City.
Ateneo leaned on opposite hitter Michelle Morente and middle blocker Bea De Leon to outplay University of the East (UE), 25-14, 25-21, 25-21, in 71 minutes.
“We need to improve our game and train hard in preparation for our games against UP and La Salle,” said Ateneo assistant coach Sherwin Meneses.
Morente posted 13 points built on 10 kills and three aces and De Leon banged in 11 points while Maddie Madayag and Kat Tolentino combined for 17 points for the Lady Eagles.
La Salle also nailed a 25-12-25-16, 25-15 straight-set win over Adamson University behind the excellent floor defense of libero Dawn Macandili, who submitted 16 digs and 18 receptions.
La Salle and Ateneo improved to 4-1 leaving idle National University in fourth with a 3-1 card.
They are behind unbeaten University of the Philippines (4-0).
UE and Adamson are still winless in five games.
In the men’s division, two-time champion Ateneo overpowered UE, 25-17, 25-13, 25-22, to remain unbeaten in five game and move closer to a first-round sweep.
Reigning Most Valuable Player Marck Espejo delivered 10 attacks, three blocks and two aces while Rex Intal chipped in 10 points and Esmilzo Polvorosa had 32 excellent sets for the Blue Eagles.
The Blue Eagles gun for a sweep when it faces UP and La Salle in their last two games in the first round.
Earlier, Adamson outlasted La Salle, 26-24, 24-26, 25-20, 28-26, to barge into the win column.
John Philip Yude led the Soaring Falcons with 18 points, and Jerome Sarmiento and Paolo Pablico added 17 markers each.
Adamson and La Salle are now tied at sixth with identical 1-4 marks while UE stayed at the bottom of the standings with 0-5.