THIRD seed Ateneo stood its ground in the stepladder semifinals, giving No. 4 Adamson no chance to advance by scoring a straight-sets win on Saturday at The Arena in San Juan.
The Lady Eagles, who finished at No. 3 after the eliminations, sent the Lady Falcons packing, 26-24, 25-23, 25-21 at the start of the Final Four of the UAAP women's volleyball tournament.
They next face the second-seeded National University Lady Bulldogs, who hold a twice-to-beat advantage after finishing second in the elimination round.
Waiting in the wings is three-time champion La Salle which sits atop the standings after a sweep of the eliminations, and will now hold a thrice-to-beat advantage in the finals.
Alyssa Valdez registered 19 points from 13 spikes, three blocks and all of the Lady Eagles' three service aces. The team captain had a lot of help as Mich Morente contributed 12, Ella de Jesus scored 11 and A Ahomiro had 10.
Although Ateneo won a three-setter, Valdez says the scoreline doesn’t show how tight the match really was.
"Ever since mahirap kalaban ang Adamson, laging may pressure kalaban sila," said Valdez.
Bhebs Pineda, who played her final game in the league, finished with 12 markers for Adamson, while Amanda Villanueva added 10.
"Kailangan namin magfocus sa blocking and defense kasi we all know kung gaano sila kagaling offensively," said Valdez, referring to the Lady Bulldogs.