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    La Salle asserts mastery of Ateneo, gets shot at unbeaten NU in finals

    Jun 16, 2022
    La Salle volleyball lady spikers celebrate
    PHOTO: UAAP

    LA Salle was just too good and too strong for Ateneo, taking the 25-19, 25-20, 25-23 straight sets win over Ateneo to barge into the UAAP Season 84 women's volleyball Finals on Thursday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

    Leiah Malaluan delivered the game-clinching hit as the Lady Spikers averted a late collapse in set three and marched on to the championship series against undefeated top-seed National University in the best-of-three Finals.

    Game One is set this Saturday.

    Twice-to-beat

    Armed with a twice-to-beat advantage and owning a two-set lead, the Lady Spikers took a 22-15 lead after a Fifi Sharma hit.

    But the Blue Eagles refused to back down behind Faith Nisperos as they strung up a 6-1 run to get to within one, 23-22, courtesy of a Jeycel delos Reyes ace.

    Thea Gagate, though, would put La Salle at match point, but Erika Raagas kept Ateneo fighting with a smash to make it a 24-23 affair.

    Continue reading below ↓

    Malaluan, however, had the final say, delivering the biggest of her 16 points from 15 hits as the Lady Spikers dethroned the defending champions.

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      "Nag-ready lang yung team and we talked about na the effort should be times two or times three para ma-stop yung Ateneo," said assistant coach Benson Bocboc. "Prepared tayo sa lahat ng ilalabas ng Ateneo and so far, nag-materialize naman and we got the 3-0 win."

      Thea Gagate fired 13 markers off eight attacks, four blocks, and one ace as La Salle stretched its win streak against its longtime rivals to 10 straight matches dating back to Season 79 in 2017.

      Jolina dela Cruz also showed the way as the veteran had 13 points from 10 kills and three service aces, with her 13 excellent receptions, while Marionne Alba had 19 excellent sets in the win.

      Continue reading below ↓

      Nisperos led Ateneo with 19 points from 17 hits, a block, and an ace as this spelled the end of the road for the Katipunan spikers which survived three knockout games to progress in the stepladder semis.

      Raagas also got nine markers, while AC Miner only had six in the defeat to end the season as the second runner-up. with reports from Jillian Torre

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      PHOTO: UAAP
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