THIRD time's the charm.
De La Salle captured its third consecutive UAAP women’s volleyball title after scoring a sweep of the best-of-three Finals series against Ateneo on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Unlike their stunning come-from-behind five-set Game One victory last Saturday, the Lady Archers encountered little resistance this time to come away with a resounding 25-23, 25-20, 25-16 decision behind the heroics of Mika Reyes, back-to-back MVP Abi Marano, and co-winner Ara Galang.
"Sobrang saya ko lang," said Reyes, who led the Taft-based spikers with 16 points, including seven blocks. "Nag-pay off lahat ng hard work namin."
After taking the first set, the La Salle’s tossers fell into a 14-9 hole, before coming back charging with a 7-1 run, capped by Reyes' back-to-back blocks off an Alyssa Valdez attack, that eventually gave them a commanding two-set lead.
The Lady Archers again saw themselves trailing, 14-12, in the third set, but they once again regained control to claim their eighth title overall in the league in front of almost 19,000 fans.
"Sweet ito (three-peat) kasi fruit of the labor ng mga bata," said DLSU coach Ramil de Jesus. "Pinaghirapan talaga nila."
"Second, magandang exit ito para sa mga graduating players," added the 15-year La Salle mentor, referring to Wensh Tiu and Melissa Gohing.
It was the Lady Archers’ second three-peat, matching the hat-trick of titles they won from 2004 to 2006.
La Salle is now tied with University of the Philippines with the third most number of titles next to Far Eastern University, which has 29 and University of Santo Tomas, which has 14.
Ateneo sophomore Alyssa Valdez, adjudged Best Scorer in the league, singlehandedly carried the Lady Eagles’ with 14 points as she found little contribution from her teammates, especially seniors Fille Cainglet, Dzi Gervacio, Jem Ferrer, Gretchen Ho, and A Nacachi.
A breakthrough title remained elusive for Ateneo.