Lady Bulldogs recover from slow start to beat Lady Warriors in first women's volley match of Season 79
The Lady Bulldogs took a while before finding their rhythm, dominating only in teh third set. Jaime Campos

NATIONAL University survived a tough challenge from University of the East, 18-25, 25-20, 25-23, 25-13, on Saturday at the Araneta Coliseum to start its campaign in the UAAP Season 79 women’s volleyball tournament on a bright note.

The Lady Bulldogs dropped the first set, when they gave up 19 points on errors and the Lady Warriors enjoyed a 19-11 lead.

There was not much improvement for the Lady Bulldogs in the second, but managed to take the set and started to build on it, finally dominating in the fourth.

UE could not capitalize on the hot start, and wound up absorbing another loss to the NU. The last time the Lady Warriors beat the Lady Bulldogs was in the elimination round in 2012.

“Simple lang ang analysis ko, hindi kami nahirapan sa laro ng kalaban, nahirapan kami kaiisip ng laro nila, nahirapan sila sa error nila,” said NU coach Roger Gorayeb.

“Hindi dumadating ’yung bola doon sa unahan, ’yun ang pumapasok sa isip nila,” he added.

Jaja Santiago scored 21 points from 14 kills, four blocks and three service aces, Jorelle Singh added 12 points, while Risa Sato and Aiko Urdas each had 11 markers. 

“Opening day ngayon, alam kong may mga ganyang sitwasyon, ’yung salitang opening-day jitters,” said Gorayeb.

“Though hindi naman ako masyadong advocate ng ganyang paniniwala ano, so binibigyan ko na lang ng benefit of the doubt ’yung mga bata, kung bakit biglang nag-drop ’yung laro nila.”

UE team captain Shaya Adorador scored 21 from 12 kills, four blocks and five of the team’s nine service aces.

Mary Anne Mendrez and Judith Abil combined for 21 markers for the Lady Warriors. 

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