ATENEO is back in the UAAP women’s volleyball finals, easing past a tense University of the Philippines, 25-19, 25-16, 25-21, in the Final Four on Saturday at the MOA Arena.
The Lady Eagles, eyeing a third straight title, take on either La Salle or Far Eastern University, which clash on Sunday.
Sophomore Jhoana Maragunot and back-to-back MVP Alyssa Valdez led the way for Ateneo, combining for 33 points.
Maraguinot had 10 spikes, three blocks and four service aces, while Valdez had 14 kills.
“I’m so thankful na for the fifth time I’m entering into the Finals with different teammates and different coaches I’m just really lucky to be there again for the last time,” said Valdez.
UP, the surprise package of the season and semifinalists for the first time since season 65, was simply overwhelmed and managed to threaten only in the third at 18-19.
Ateneo was hardly shaken and scored four straight points, with Valdez leading the attack and the Lady Eagles also got a gift with an attack error from Diana Carlos, 23-18.
“Binigay rin ni Jia eh,” said Valdez as she defelcted the credit to setter Jia Morado.
“Siguro as a senior you really wanna help the team and contribute naman sa mga points, not only in spiking but also sa digs and receive.”
Nicole Tiamzon led UP with 13 points, Kathy Bersola added eight and star rookie Isa Molde was limited to four points.