Ateneo endures third-set wobble vs UST Tigresses to make it seven straight wins
Jho Maraguinot delivered at crunch time for the Lady Eagles. Jerome Ascano

ATENEO overcame a late wobble to put away University of Santo Tomas in straight sets, 25-10, 26-24, 28-26, in the UAAP Season 79 women’s volleyball tournament on Wednesday at The Arena in San Juan.

The Lady Eagles blew a 23-18 lead in the third set and saw UST get to match point, 25-24, but got their acts together just in time to put away their seventh successive win.

Jho Maraguinot stood out at crunch time as the Lady Eagles tightened their grip on the top spot with an 8-1 win-loss record and moved a win closer to securing at least a playoff for a Final Four place.

UST crashed back to earth after a four-game winning run and dropped to 5-4 in a four-way logjam with University of the Philippines, Far Eastern University and National University.

Bea de Leon and Jhoana Maraguinot had 12 points apiece for the Lady Eagles, Kat Tolentino scored 11 and Michelle Morente had 10 markers.

“Hindi naman expected na straight sets pero umiral ang teamwork ng Ateneo so na-straight sets kasi lahat gumawa,” said Ateneo assistant coach Sherwin Meneses.

An EJ Laure error tied the contest, 25-25, and a service ace by Ana Gopico moved Ateneo to match point.

Ria Meneses scored on a quick attack to again tie it at 26 but back-to-back errors by Laure ended it for UST.

“Syempre ayaw mo na umabot sa ganoon kaso syempre ’yung kalaban mo lumalaban din ’yan so kung mangyari man ’yun compose ulit ang sarili, ‘wag lang bibitaw sa huli,” Meneses added.

Tem captain Sisi Rondina was the lone player from UST to score in double digits with 16 points from 12 kills, two blocks and two service aces, in the match one-hour and 28-minute match.

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