DEFENDING champion De La Salle exacted sweet revenge on University of Santo Tomas, 21-25, 25-23, 25-19, 26-24, to claim the solo second place on Sunday in UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The Lady Spikers recovered from a first-set loss before getting their acts together and flaunting their championship poise in the succeeding sets to bounce back from their frustrating first-round loss to the Tigresses and claim the solo No.2 spot with a 7-3 win-loss record behind league leader and rival Ateneo de Manila (8-1).
UST dropped at fourth place with a 6-4 card behind third placer Far Eastern University (6-3).
La Salle captain Desiree Cheng led the charge with 20 points built on 14 spikes, three service aces and as many as blocks.
“Mas gusto lang namin manalo today, mas gusto namin gumanda ang standing namin at nag-laro kami as one team,” Cheng said.
Aduke Ogunsanya was also instrumental, scoring eight attacks and four blocks for 12 points. Rookie Jolina Dela Cruz had six points including 13 digs, while Tin Tiamzon also had six markers on top of 14 digs and 12 excellent receptions.
“Well, yung first meeting namin ng UST ng first round, sobrang hindi organized ang blocking namin,” said De La Salle head coach Ramil de Jesus, whose wards had 12 blocks over UST’s six. “This time, talagang nag-adjust kami sa blocking. So yun ang isang malaking factor.”
“Nakuha ng UST ang first set kasi madami kaming unforced errors. Sabi ko mag-adjust lang, mas kumilos ng mas magaan. Buti nakuha namin ang second set,” De Jesus added.
The Lady Spikers have one week to prepare before facing the eliminated Adamson Lady Falcons (1-9) on Sunday next week at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
La Salle shattered UST’s hopes of forcing a decider after eluding a tight fourth set encounter, 23-all, as Eya Laure committed the crucial errors of the set.
Laure committed an attack error that put the Lady Spikers at match point, 24-23, followed by Mars Alba’s double violation that allowed a deuce. Clemente blocked Laure’s attack to regain the match point before the rookie’s attack didn’t pass the net easily giving La Salle the solo second place.
Laure led UST with 20 points, while Sisi Rondina, who kept the fourth set close, had 19 points including 13 digs and seven excellent receptions as the Tigresses dropped at fourth place with a 6-4 card behind third placer Far Eastern University (6-3).
UST, which also committed 44 errors over La Salle’s 36 miscues, has one week to prepare before its next match against University of the East (2-7) on Saturday next week also at the Big Dome.