ALYSSA Valdez nailed the winner as Ateneo climbed back from two sets down to outlast La Salle, 17-25, 21-25, 25-19, 25-21, 15-13 in the "Battle of the Rivals" on Sunday at the MOA Arena.
Valdez smashed one through the towering defense of Michelle Gumabao and Mike Reyes to seal the match that will benefit athletic scholarship programs of both schools.
Valdez fired 36 points built on 32 attacks but it was setter Jia Morado who was hailed Most Valuable Player after confetti fell on the Blue Eagles before a roaring crowd inside the Arena.
Morado had 58 excellent sets, beating La Salle counterpart Kim Fajardo who had 40.
Ella De Jesus added 11 points for the Lady Eagles.
Down two sets, the Lady Eagles refused to fold and erased an 18-15 deficit by scoring four straight points, 19-18, to extend the match.
Ateneo raced off to a 5-1 start in the fourth and forced the deciding frame that saw Valdez and Aby Marano trade thunderous kills.
Marano, who was also named La Salle's best player, and Ara Galang paced the Lady Spikers with 16 points each.
Stephanie Mercado chipped in 13 markers.