DEFENDING champion De La Salle University bested Far Eastern University (FEU), 29-27, 25-22, 25-23, in a showdown of pre-season favorites in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 79 women’s volleyball tournament at the Araneta Coliseum on Sunday.
Not to be outdone, University of the Philippines carved out a 25-18, 25-11, 25-18 victory over Adamson University in the first game.
Majoy Baron and Kim Dy combined for 26 points as back-to-back seeking Lady Spikers showed spunk in besting the Lady Tamaraws in a rematch of last year’s semifinals.
Baron sparkled with three blocks and three service aces for a 15-point effort, while Dy, last season’s Finals Most Valuable Player, added 11 hits for De La Salle.
“Someone needs to step up and it should be them (Baron and Dy),” said Lady Spikers coach Ramil de Jesus.
De La Salle playmaker Kim Fajardo tossed in 35 excellent sets and collected 10 digs while libero Dawn Macandili had 11 digs.
Bernadeth Pons led FEU with 12 hits and eight digs.
The Lady Spikers showed poise when Baron closed out the extended opening set with a service winner, and clinched the match after Lady Tamaraw Heather Guino-o’s attempt to cross the ball to the court from the other side fell short.
Kathy Bersola unloaded six of the Lady Maroons’ 15 service aces as the Diliman-based spikers simply pounced on the Lady Falcons’ poor reception in the 63-minute match.
Ayel Estrañero had a respectable showing as UP’s chief playmaker with 23 excellent sets on top of four points, as Yee is expecting to more from the erstwhile libero.
Bersola had three blocks for a 11-point effort, Diana Carlos also had 11 hits while last season’s top rookie Isa Molde added 10 points and four digs for UP.
Bern Flora and Jema Galanza teamed up for 15 points for Adamson, which failed to give its American coach Air Padda a winning debut.
The Lady Falcons gave away 25 points from errors, which the Lady Maroons also capitalized.
Earlier, Greg Dolor scored all but one of his 15 points from spikes and collected five digs while Jude Garcia added 12 hits as FEU swept De La Salle, 25-16, 25-19, 26-24, in men’s play.
UP, behind Alfred Valbuena’s 19-point, 10-dig showing, outlasted Adamson, 24-26, 25-20, 31-33, 27-25, 15-10.