Ateneo De Manila University secured the solo lead after crushing rival De La Salle University, 26-24, 26-24, 21-25, 25-17, in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 79 women’s volleyball tournament on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The Katipunan-based squad notched its fifth straight win to improve its record to 6-1.
Michelle Morente led the Lady Eagles with 25 points off 20 spikes, three blocks and two service aces.
Katrina Mae Tolentino contributed 18 markers, 16 coming off attacks and two blocks.
Team captain Jia Morado had four points on top of her 79 excellent sets for Ateneo.
“Our players really hold despite our slow start because they really want to win,” said Ateneo assistant coach Sherwin Meneses in a postgame interview.
“It’s hard to come back from that but every time we go on a timeout, coach Thai Bundit just told to us to continue to play happy. [That’s why] we just kept going,” added Bea De Leon, who had nine points.
Kim Dy contributed 15 points while Joy Baron and Aduke Ogunsanya had 14 and 12 markers for the Lady Spikers, respectively.
La Salle dropped to the second spot with 5-2 record.
In the other match, University of Santo Tomas stretched its winning streak to three games and ended its first round campaign on a high note after defeating Far Eastern University, 25-16, 21-25, 26-24, 25.
The Tigresses improved their win-loss record to 4-3.
E.J. Laure delivered 17 points, 15 coming off attacks and two from spikes, while team captain Cherry Ann Rondina notched 14 markers.
Dimdim Pacres scored 12 points including three consecutive aces in the fourth set that paved the way for UST to grab a seven-point lead, 23-16.
Toni Rose Basas chipped in 16 makers while Bernadeth Pons had 14 points for FEU.
In the men’s division, FEU and Ateneo subdued their respective opponents in straight sets.
FEU dispatched UST, 25-19, 25-23, 25-22, while Ateneo trounced La Salle, 25-21, 25-21, 25-18.