KAT Tolentino came to the rescue for Ateneo late in the fourth set as the Lady Eagles took down the University of Santo Tomas Tigresses, 25-21, 25-18, 16-25, 25-22, on Wednesday for its first win in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament at the Arena in San Juan.
Tolentino came up with back-to-back hits and an Eya Laure error put Ateneo ahead 23-18.
Sisi Rondina, Milena Alessandrini and Eya Laure worked to cut down the lead to one, 23-22, but Tolentino came up with a powerful down the line hit that put her team at match point before Alessandrini’s attack went off the mark.
The Lady Eagles bounced back after a four-set defeat to La Salle on Sunday.
Tolentino had 22 points built on 16 kills, four blocks and a pair of service aces to go with 11 digs.
Maddie Madayag, who struggled with five points in their opening match, bounced back with 15 points off nine spikes and six blocks.
Deanna Wong, who also struggled in the opener, made 17 excellent sets on top of 11 digs.
Coach Oliver Almadro finally got his first win in the women’s division as the Lady Eagles improved their win-loss record to 1-1 , tied with UST.
“Yung mga players ko rin, yung resiliency nila after a loss. Sila mismo, they believed that they will win today. I really admire Kat and Bea sa leadership nila kanina,” Almadro said.
“Hopefully this is a stepping stone for a bright future. Mahirap talaga dito sa women's.”
The Lady Eagles take on the FEU Lady Tamaraws (1-0) on Sunday at 4 p.m.
Ateneo went cold in the third set, falling to a 0-7 deficit with Alina Bicar hitting five service aces, and UST went on to extend the match.
Rondina had 20 points and made 24 digs for UST, which had 36 errors.
Laure chipped in 12 points, while Alessandrini had 10 and made 19 excellent receptions.
Alina Bicar made 12 excellent sets and scored eight points for the Tigresses, who battle the UP Lady Maroons on Sunday at 2 p.m.