ATENEO cruised to its third straight win at the expense of a woeful University of the East side, 25-14, 25-21, 25-21, in the UAAP Season 79 women’s volleyball tournament on Wednesday at The Arena in San Juan.
Michelle Morente finished with 13 points for the Lady Eagles, while Bea de Leon added 11. Maddie Madayag chipped in nine markers, and Kat Tolentino contributed eight.
The Lady Eagles moved up to solo second behind unbeaten University of the Philippines (4-0) after improving to 4-1 (win-loss) for the season.
“Pag tinignan mo ang UE, kapag hindi ka lumaro ng maganda talagang lalaban kasi ang lalaki eh,” said Ateneo assistant coach Sherwin Meneses. “So ngayon ko nga lang sila nakita ng malapitan, parang walang maliit sa loob so talagang nag-improve talaga sila this year.”
Ateneo head coach Tai Bundit, who missed two games when he went back home to Thailand for his mother-in-law’s wake, arrived on Tuesday and immediately gave the Lady Eagles some tough love - his usual Spartan-like training regimen.
“Ayun pagdating ni coach Tai, hard training kaagad, (dito sa game) sumunod lang sila kay coach Tai sa combination kasi malalaki nga so kailangan mong mag-combination (plays) lang talaga,” said Meneses.
Ateneo dominated the match in attacks (42-19) but UE fought hard in defense with more blocks (12-3) in a game that took an hour and 17 minutes.
Meneses gave credit to fourth year setter Jia Morado for the balanced offense of the team.
“Si Jia, talagang magaling siyang mag-set play. Pinag-aaralan niya ang mga spikers kasi pagdating sa ensayo, kinakabisado niya lahat eh. So si Jia talaga magdadala kapag crucial game talaga,” he said.
Mary Anne Mendrez and Shaya Adorador made 11 points apiece for UE, who remained winless and dropped its fifth consecutive game.