TOP seed Ateneo rose from its semifinal slip up, taking care of business against No. 4 Far Eastern University, 25-20, 21-25, 25-23, 25-14, to reach the title series of the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament on Wednesday at the Arena in San Juan.
The Lady Eagles return to the finals after missing out last year, arranging a title showdown with University of Sto. Tomas, which eliminated La Salle.
The best-of-three series between top team and second seed starts on Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Kat Tolentino scored 19 points off 17 attacks and two of blocks as twice-to-beat Lady Eagles recovered from a loss to the Lady Tamaraws in the Final Four opener on Saturday.
Ateneo booked its seventh finals appearance in eight seasons and will face UST in the title series for the first time since joining the league in 1978.
Graduating middle blocker Maddie Madayag and open hitter Ponggay Gaston delivered 12 points each. Team captain Bea de Leon made four of the team’s 12 kill blocks for nine points, while setter Deanna Wong dished out 19 excellent sets on top of 14 digs and three points.
“I’m just an instrument, importante will and heart ng mga players. They really worked hard, pushed each other up,” Ateneo coach Oliver Almadro said.
“Pero hindi pa dito tapos mission nila,” he added.
Jerrili Malabanan had 18 points for FEU in her last UAAP match together with Heather Guino-o, who had 12 hits, and setter Kyle Negrito.
Buding Duremdes had 31 digs and 11 excellent receptions, while Jeanette Villareal had 11 points.
FEU committed 36 errors and fell short in their bid to return to the finals after bowing in the title series last year to La Salle.