National University (NU) overcame last year’s runner-up Ateneo de Manila University’s gallant stand via a 25-17, 25-13, 19-25, 29-27 decision to grab the solo lead in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 79 women’s volleyball tournament on Wednesday at The Arena in San Juan City.
Skipper Jaja Santiago, who sparked NU’s big fourth-set attack, finished with 26 points on 19 kills, six blocks and an ace while playmaker Jasmine Nabor displayed 43 excellent sets and had eight points.
“We were sluggish in the third set especially with our reception but we responded well late in the fourth set both on offense and defense to get this win,” Nabor said.
Open hitter Jorelle Singh chipped in 16 points and middle hitter Risa Sato added 12 points for NU.
The Lady Bulldogs had a solid net defense with 14 blocks and were merciless in the service area, nailing 12 aces.
The Lady Eagles suffered their first loss in two games.
Bea de Leon led Ateneo with 14 points while Jhoana Maraguinot scored 12.
Earlier, Far Eastern University (FEU) barged into the winner’s column by blasting Adamson, 25-12, 25-19, 25-16.
Team captain Remy Palma hammered seven attacks on top of four blocks and two aces while Bernadeth Pons added 15 points as the Lady Tamaraws improved to 1-1.
The Lady Falcons, who got nine points from Bernadette Flora and eight from Gema Galanza, fell to 0-2.
In the men’s division, reigning Most Valuable Player Marck Espejo nailed 18 points and Antony Paul Koyfman added 15 markers as defending champion Ateneo outplayed NU, 27-25, 25-23, 23-25, 25-16, for its second victory.
The Tamaraws also cruised to their second win after surviving the Soaring Falcons in five sets, 25-22, 25-19, 28-30, 25-27, 15-10.
Five FEU players finished in double figures led by veteran Greg Dolor, who scored 16 attacks and three blocks, and Jude Garcia, who contributed 13 kills and four aces. Peter Quiel added 14, Richard Solis chipped in 13 and John Paul Bugaoan had 12.
NU dropped to 1-1 while Adamson fell to 0-2.