Lady Eagles fight back from a set down to beat Tigresses for first win in Season 80
Bea de Leon and the Lady Eagles score a four-set win after back-to-back five-set losses. Dante Peralta

ATENEO fought back from a set down to beat University of Santo Tomas, 16-25, 25-22, 25-22, 25-23, on Sunday for its first win in the UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.

Kat Tolentino, Jhoana Maraguinot and Bea de Leon each scored 11 points for the Lady Eagles, while Jules Samonte added 10 markers.

Ateneo made the win column after suffering back-to-back losses to start the season.

“It’s really, really important because obviously if we didn’t, it would’ve been 0-3. It would’ve been the bottom,” said De Leon.

“But now as we said, we’re at par with a lot of the teams - actually with UST - so it’s really, really good for us and it’s finally a start for us,” she added.

Ateneo recovered from a 12-17 deficit, taking the lead 21-18, with Bea de Leon sealing the win with an off the block hit.

“I guess ’yung trust namin sa isa’t isa, kasi importante ’yun eh, pag wala kang tiwala sa teammates mo, wala talaga,” said Maddie Madayag. 

“I mean ’yung pinag-usapan namin na pag may nagkamali, kailangan yung iba babawiin. I guess it’s really the teamwork, yung trust and confidence,” she added.

Sisi Rondina scored 22 points and had nine digs, while Fil-Italian rookie Milena Alessandrini added 11 and Tin Francisco had 10 for UST.

The Tigresses had early trouble when libero Rica Rivera injured her right knee.

A UST official said Rivera suffered a meniscus tear in the opening frame, falling after receiving Kat Tolentino's smash.

Rivera was carried by assistant coach Mark Alfafara to the dugout.

She tore an ACL in the same knee before Season 77.

With Jan Ballesteros


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