Ateneo De Manila University banked on solid blocking to stop National University (NU) with a 25-22, 25-16, 25-17 in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament on Saturday at The Arena in San Juan City.
After losing to NU 25-19, 25-19, 20-25, 12-25, 15-7 in the first round, the Lady Eagles got even with the Lady Bulldogs outclassing their rivals in blocking (11-3) and service points (14-3).
Ateneo, NU and Far Eastern University are now carrying similar 6-3 win-loss records.
“Our blocking is really, really crucial because spiking is one of their biggest advantages with Jaja (Santiago) at their frontline. It held our defense and was really huge to stop it,” said Isabel Beatriz De Leon, who had nine points.
Madeleine Madayag scored 13 points, Johnna Maraguinot added 10 points while Jullianne Samonte had 11 points also for the Lady Eagles.
Jaja Santiago led NU with 16 points.
Earlier, University of Santo Tomas (UST) recovered from a bad first set to beat University of the Philippines (UP) in the succeeding three sets for a 19-25, 30-28, 25-20, 20-16 victory. UST snapped a five-game losing skid and kept its final four bid alive.
Cherry Ann Rondina delivered 24 kills and one service point for 25 points while Milena Alessandrini racked up 14 kills and swatted six enemy attempts to lead the Tigresses to a 3-7 win-loss record.
“Before the game, I talked to my teammates at sinabi ko sa kanila wag niyo akong pasikatin. Gusto ko ‘yung pangalan naman ng school ang pasikatin at nagkaintindihan naman kami,” said Rondina, 21. “Sinabi ko lang naman babangon at babangon kami kaya kapit lang.”
In the men’s side, Far Eastern University (FEU) escaped reigning champion Ateneo De Manila University, 25-27, 25-23, 25-20, 21-25, 16-14, behind the combined 34 points of Jude Garcia and Redijohn Paler helping the Tamaraws improve their win-loss record to 7-2.
Ateneo, which drew 39 points from Marck Espejo, fell to 8-2.
Adamson University blasted UP, 29-27, 28-26, 25-10, to improve to 4-6.
UP fell to 3-6.
JOSEF T. RAMOS