UNIVERSITY of the Philippines pulled off an upset against a Mary Palma-less Far Eastern University side, 26-24, 25-16, 16-25, 25-19, to end its losing run at five in the 76th UAAP women's volleyball tournament at The Arena in San Juan on Sunday.
Katherine Bersola came up with a career-high 20 points for the Fighting Lady Maroons, while team captain Angeli Araneta added 15, Sheeka Espinosa contributed 13 and Monica Ortiz chipped in 12.
UP snapped its long skid at the expense of the 29-time UAAP champion FEU, and the Lady Maroons improved their win-loss record to 2-11.
The Lady Maroons’ win also gave Ateneo (8-4) the third spot in the Final Four.
Without Palma, FEU had to rely on super rookie Bernadette Pons and the Lady Tamaraws suffered their seventh loss in 13 outings. Palma, FEU's reliable force at the net, missed the game due to an injured knee.
"Kulang sila sa tao, syempre ayaw naman natin na may ma-injure but we took the advantage any way," said UP rookie coach Gerry Yee.
The Lady Tamaraws still kept a share of fourth with Adamson, after the National University Lady Bulldogs edged the Lady Falcons, 15-25, 25-23, 25-16, 34-32.
"Nagjo-joke nga kami, nagpi-peak na ba tayo?" Yee added. "But kidding aside, we started the (tournament) inconsistent, minsan maglalaro kami, minsan hindi."
Yee admitted that before their win against the Lady Tams their morale was down.
"Na-down na kami," he said. "We do our part sa ensayo, nag-e-extra practice pa kami nakaka-frustrate lang pag hindi nagta-translate sa floor."