UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas survived a five-setter against University of the Philippines, 25-21, 25-20, 22-25, 19-25, 15-6, to end its prelims campaign in the UAAP Season 85 women's volleyball tournament on a high note.
The Tigresses finished the two-round eliminations tied with Adamson at 10-4 (win-loss), but the Lady Falcons seized the No. 3 seed when the statistical tiebreaker based on match points came into play (Adamson 32 - 29 UST).
As the No. 4 seed, the Tigresses earned a shot at top seed La Salle. Although the Lady Spikers own twice-to-beat advantage, the Tigresses hold the distinction as the only team to beat La Salle this season.
Captain Eya Laure led the way with 28 points built on 26 attacks and two blocks to go with 14 excellent digs to save the Tigresses from what could've been a deflating defeat on Sunday at the FilOil EcoOil Center in San Juan.
"Kailangan talaga naming tatagan 'yung loob namin," said Laure. "Sabi ko nga sa kanila kanina, ito 'yung game na magpapatibay ng loob, ng isip, at ng katawan namin as a team."
Thomasian rookies Reg Jurado and Renee Peñafiel combined for 26 points while super senior Imee Hernandez chipped in a 14-point outing.
Meanwhile, Niña Ytang's 17 markers paced a gallant stand by UP that went for naught when the Fighting Maroons faded in the fifth-set tiebreak.
UST now needs two more wins to reach the finals for the first time since Season 81.
The Final Four begins on Wednesday at the SMART Araneta Coliseum, with La Salle and UST launching hostilities at 1 p.m. ahead of NU versus Adamson at 3 p.m.