ATENEO clawed back from two sets down to edge National University on Saturday and keep its record spotless in the 75th UAAP women's volleyball at the Arena in San Juan.
The Lady Eagles dug themselves out of the hole as senior setter Jem Ferrer returned after hurting her ankle in the second set to lift the team to a 16-25, 30-32, 25-21, 25-13,15-13 victory.
Ateneo took control of the third set, converting NU’s 12 unforced errors to points.
The Lady Eagles sustained momentum and rode on a 13-3 run to leave behind the Lady Bulldogs, 17-5, and force a deciding fifth set.
National U recovered early in the fifth set and led by four, 5-1, but Ateneo came charging with a 7-2 spurt and snatched the lead, 12-10, and held on.
Ateneo mentor Roger Gorayeb wasn’t satisfied with their fourth outing.
“If you talk about the win, salamat,” he said. “Pero kung ang kabuuan, hindi ako satisfied. Kulang ang intensity. Yung first set nagrelax sila sa laro, tapos na sprain pa si Jem.”
Gorayeb also lashed at game officials after the jury overturned the referee’s call on a check ball after Myla Pablo’s hit grazed the arm of Alyssa Valdez and gave the point to NU, 10-11, in the fifth.
“Hindi pwedeng makialam ang jury sa desisyon ng referee yan ang rules sa volleyball kahit sa international,” said Gorayeb. “Yung jury nag-oobserve lang yan after ng game kung mali ’yung tawag ng referee pagagalitan nila yan pero hindi mo pwedeng palitan yung outcome ng laro. Hindi mo pwedeng diktahan yung desisyon ng referee kasi jury ka wala ka sa posisyon na magpapalit ka ng tawag ng referee.”
Valdez came up with 28 points for the Lady Eagles, while Fille Cainglet added 14.
Myla Pablo produced 21 points, all on attacks, Dindin Santiago chipped in 18, Maricar Nepomuceno contributed 15 and Aiko Urdas added 12 for the Lady Bulldogs (2-2).
Meanwhile, University of Santo Tomas beat University of the Philippines, 25-18, 25-11, 25-14.
Maika Ortiz and Maruja Banaticla had 14 and 13 points, respectively, for the Tigresses (2-2), while Princess Mae Se and Nicole Tiamzon had five points apiece for UP (1-3).
In the men’s tourney, defending champion Far Eastern University downed UP, 25-16, 25-23, 25-18.
Arvin Avila and John Ian Depamaylo each had 12 points, while Alexis Faytaren added 11 for FEU, which now holds a 3-1 win-loss card.
Dominico Lucindo made 11 markers for UP, which is tied with Ateneo for fifth spot at 1-3.
UST defeated Ateneo, 25-20, 25-10, 25-19, to claim second spot with a 3-1 record.
Mark Gil Alfafara and Samvador Depante led the Tigers with 15 and 10
John Joseph Sandoval and Ysrael Wilson Marasigan finished with a combined 16 markers for Ateneo (1-3).