• Tigresses hold off Red Spikers

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    UST’s Jenn Gutierrez goes up for a kill against UE’s Satriani Espiritu during their Shakey’s V-League Collegiate Conference encounter at the Philsports Arena. CONTRIBUTED

    UST’s Jenn Gutierrez goes up for a kill against UE’s Satriani Espiritu during their Shakey’s V-League Collegiate Conference encounter at the Philsports Arena. CONTRIBUTED

    University of Santo Tomas recovered from a third set foldup with a strong finish in the fourth, thwarting San Beda College, 27-25, 25-18, 20-25, 25-18, to join FEU and UP in the early Group B lead in the Shakey’s V-League Collegiate Conference at the Philsports Arena in Pasig on Wednesday.

    Sisters Ennajie and Ejiya Laure took turns in offense and finished with a combined 35-hit effort as the Tigresses, the winningest in the country’s premier women’s volley league with six championships, overpowered the Lady Red Spikers, 47-30, in attack points and came away with eight blocks, six more than their rivals.

    Guest player Janine Marciano matched Ennajie’s 18-hit output but failed to draw solid backup from the rest with Francesca Racraquin chipping in nine points and Satriani Espiritu adding five hits as the Red Spikers took their second straight setback after dropping a three-setter to the Lady Maroons in last Saturday’s inaugural of the mid-season conference of the league sponsored by Shakey’s and backed by Mikasa as official ball and Accel as official outfitter.

    UST actually blew a commanding lead in the opening frame and needed to scramble and live through an extended duel to thwart San Beda’s upset bid. The Tigresses made up for that shaky start by dominating the second but turned erratic in the third, enabling the Red Spikers to clinch their first set-win in their maiden stint in the league where it all started.

    But the Laure siblings took charge in the fourth as UST wrapped up the match in 1:39. Christine Francisco added nine hits, including two blocks, while guest player Agatha Mangulabnan unloaded three aces for a four-point effort for the Tigresses.

    In the Spikers’ Turf Season 2 Collegiate Conference, Perpetual Help and Ateneo scored lopsided victories to gain a share of the early lead in their respective groups.

    The Altas, with Rey Taneo, Relan Taneo, Manuel Doliente and Esmail Kasim combining for 40 hits, clobbered the newcomer Philippine Merchant Marine School side, 25-13, 25-17, 25-23, to join National U on top of Group A.

    The Eagles, on the other hand, drew 13 markers and 11 points from Marck Espejo and Paul Koyfman as they blasted the San Beda Lions, 25-19, 25-23, 25-16, for a share of the lead with UST in Group B of the two-division conference featuring 12 teams.

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