UNIVERSITY of the Philippines definitely felt the absence of top blocker Kathy Bersola, but skipper Nicole Tiamzon sparked the Lady Maroons offense in a 25-17, 25-13, 25-21 dismantling of winless University of the East on Wednesday at the start of the second round of eliminations of the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Tiamzon came up with 12 points from nine spikes, one block and two service aces as UP won their first match without Bersola, out for the season with an ACL injury sustained at the end of the first round.
With Bersola out, UP could only come up with two block points but did well to finish in straight sets.
“Wala ’di kami maka-block so ‘yun ang obvious na nawala sa amin (galing kay) Kathy,” said UP coach Gerry Yee. “Although nakakatsamba kami ng opensa kahit kaunti pero ‘yung block obviously talagang wala.”
UP completed the win in an hour and 15 minutes to even its win-loss record to 4-4 and move to fourth behind unbeaten Ateneo, La Salle and National University.
Angeli Araneta and Marian Buitre had eight and seven markers, respectively, while Arriane Ilustre and Vina Alinas added six points apiece for the Lady Maroons.
Yee also wasn’t pleased that his wards struggled in the third set as UE managed to keep it close even without its skipper Shaya Adorador, who suffered a left ankle sprain in the second set.
“Yan nga yung ayaw nating mangyari sana na we came out flat,” he said. “Pero ayan nga flat na flat kami.”
Leuseht Dawis and Judith Abil finished with seven points apiece for UE, winless in eight matches this season and 39th straight since Season 74.