ATENEO completed a sweep of its five quarterfinal matches, downing National University, 26-28, 25-19, 16-25, 25-16, 15-7, on Thursday to assure itself of a playoff for semifinal berth in the V-League Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan.
The Lady Eagles, No. 6 in the six-team round robin quarterfinals, improved their win-loss record to 5-5.
That record may even be enough for an outright semifinal spot if Air Force (5-4) wins on the last day of the quarterfinals over Cagayan Valley (4-6) on Sunday.
Cagayan Valley could still take an outright semifinal berth if it wins by four sets or less against Air Force, leaving the Air Women and Lady Eagles to battle for the No. 4 spot.
If Cagayan wins in five sets, Ateneo will take the No. 3 spot and the Rising Suns will have to play the Air Women again in a playoff for No. 4 semifinal spot.
The Lady Eagles proved steadier down the stretch after a see-saw match that saw the Lady Bulldogs take the first set.
Ateneo zoomed to a 12-4 lead in the fourth and went on to extend the match to a decider. The Lady Eagles never let up in the fifth, putting up an 8-3 lead and cruising to victory, their third five-set win in the last four matches.
The last two sets went so quick, the Lady Eagles managed to wrap up the match in one hour and 53 minutes.
The Lady Bulldogs, who had earlier bowed out of semifinal contention, wound up with a 2-8 mark.
Alyssa Valdez came up with 32 points, including six blocks and seven aces, while Bea de Leon delivered a gem of a game with 16 hits for Ateneo.
Jaja Santiago led National University with 18 points, while Rizza Mandapat had 16, Myla Pablo scored 15 and Desiree Dadang had 12.