ATENEO turned back a late University of Santo Tomas fightback to put away a 25-22, 25-20, 21-25, 25-15 victory in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament on Sunday at The Arena in San Juan.
The Lady Eagles bagged their second consecutive win for a share of the early lead with arch-rival La Salle (2-0), stretching their win streak to 20 games dating back to the finals of 2014.
The win didn't come easy, however, for the reigning two-time champions, who found UST a tough nut to crack in the first two sets and came under threat when the Tigresses won the third set.
Alyssa Valdez led the Lady Eagles with 23 points, anchored on 20 spikes, while Jhoana Maraguinot added 12. Valdez was also the first to admit the win wasn't as easy as it looked.
“UST kasi they will fight, grabe big heart sila (lalo na) ‘yung mga bata talaga. Lalaban at lalaban sila. Iba, iba ang puso ng mga UST (players),” said the 22-year old back-to-back MVP.
“Hindi rin naman namin masasabi na wake-up call, binigyan rin naman kami ng magandang laban ng UST and siguro nakita rin talaga namin ang kailangan pa namin paghirapan as a team,” she added.
The Tigresses were still very much in the game at 7-8 in the fourth set before the Lady Eagles regained their composure by rattling off five successive points on the way to the win.
UST lost its second successive game and joined University of the East at the cellar on 0-2 records.