NATIONAL University overcame a sloppy outing, closing in on a semifinal spot with a 25-15, 25-21, 22-25, 25-21 victory over lowly University of the East on Sunday in the UAAP Season 79 women’s volleyball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.
NU had lapses in concentration and paid the price as UE denied them a straight-sets win, and the Lady Bulldogs still looked lethargic early in the fourth before coming up with big points in the end from Jaja Santiago and Jasmine Nabor.
Santiago scored 23 points, Jorelle Singh added 17 and Risa Sato came up with 10 markers.
Coach Roger Gorayeb was disappointed despite the win as the Lady Bulldogs had 37 errors in the two-hour match.
“Pag pinagsabihan ko sila nape-pressure, basta nanalo. Ewan ko sa kanila. Gusto ko lang manalo,” said the veteran mentor.
“‘Wag lang sana kami malagay sa alanganin, malaking bagay pag tie, maka apat na set ’yan bukol sa amin, pagdating sa dulo involved sa tie, patay,” he added, referring to tiebreaks for playoff spots.
The Lady Bulldogs bounced back from a loss to defending champion La Salle, scoring their sixth win in 10 matches to join University of Sto. Tomas in the third spot.
UE dropped to 1-9.
Gorayeb stressed that his goal of a No. 2 spot is now hard to reach, with La Salle holding a 7-2 card and Ateneo 8-1.
“Pasok pa rin sa top four, pero bakbakan na ’yan. ‘Di na maaalis sa No. 1 and No. 2 ang Ateneo at La Salle, lamang na agad ang Ateneo isa lang ang talo ang La Salle dalawa.”
“Kami apat na talo, madaling isipin pero mahirap mangyari,” he added. “Ayaw ko naman maging sobrang positive na kaya natin tong No. 2 ganyan. Accept the truth, accept the fact na mahihirapan na kami mag No. 2.”
NU had 52 attacks against 31 by UE, but the Lady Warriors scored 13 points from the service line.
Shaya Adorador had 16 points, while Judith Abil chipped in 10 markers for UE.