DEFENDING champion De La Salle completed a fightback from a set down to score a thrilling five-set win over National University on Saturday in the 75th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.
The Lady Archers appeared headed for a setback when suddenly they willed their back into the game and swept the last two sets for a morale-boosting 25-20, 23-25, 24-26, 25-13, 15-8 victory.
Their backs against the wall, the reigning champions went on a 10-1 run to take control of the fourth set, 13-3, and pave the way for the decider.
There was no stopping the Taft-based team from there, silencing its opponent by scoring the first six points of the fifth set en route to the come-from-behind win.
La Salle posted its seventh straight win for a 7-1 (win-loss) record.
“Every game naman kasi pinag-hahandaan namin, inaaral namin," said La Salle coach Ramil de Jesus.
Victonara Galang finished with 21 markers from 17 attacks and four block points, while Abigail Maraño, Mika Reyes, and Michelle Gumabao contributed 13, 13, and 10 points, respectively for the Lady Archers.
La Salle capitalized on NU’s 41 errors, while toughening up on defense with 13 block points and eight service aces.
Dindin Santiago led the Lady Bulldogs with 19 points, while Maricar Nepomuceno, Myla Pablo and Aiko Urdas added 17, 15 and 10, respectively.
The host school slid to fourth spot with an even 4-4 record.
Earlier, University of Santo Tomas began its second-round campaign on a high note as it dealt University of the Philippines its seventh straight setback, 26-24, 25-9, 19-25, 25-16.
Down by two sets, the Lady Maroons clawed their way back in the third to stretch the Lady Tigers to a fourth set.
But the Tigresses, who just came back from an exhausting examination week, weren’t to be denied as they booked their fifth win in eight games.
"Yes, medyo shaky ang laro ng mga bata," admitted UST coach Ogie Mamon. "Galing kasi sa exam week kaya medyo expected ko na pangit ang laro nila."
Maika Ortiz finished with 16 points, including five service aces, even as team captain Judy Caballejo chipped in 15 and Ma. Carmela Tunay added 12 for UST, which is in solo third behind La Salle and idle Ateneo (6-1).
The España-based spikers also dominated both the serving and setting departments.
The Tigresses uncorked 12 service aces against the three of the Lady Maroons, and produced 25 excellent sets, 21 coming from Ma Loren Lantin.
Katherine Bersola and Liezchel Tiu made 11 and 10 markers respectively for UP, which further fell to 1-7 overall and remained in seventh spot.