The Green and Lady Spikers started 2013 with a bang, sweeping lower-seeded opposition in the first UAAP volleyball tournament weekend action of the year.
Last January 5, the Green Spikers beat rival, the Ateneo de Manila Blue Spikers, 25-14, 25-18, 25-15. The Lady Spikers followed suit with an easy, 25-15, 25-8, 25-8, win against the UP Lady Maroons. Both games were played at The Arena in San Juan.
Green Spikers breaks second victory
The Green Spikers won the team’s second win of the season in five outings in a convincing three set victory against Ateneo.
Starting setter Myco Antonio top scored for the Green-and-White squad with 13 points. Three other Spikers provided much-needed backup; Red Christensen had 11 markers while Kevin Dela Vega and Team Captain Philip Cerveza bagged 10 and eight, respectively.
The Spikers from Taft went back to business early after the Christmas break pounding a, 7-2, run to start the first set. After an early run, the squad answered each point of Ateneo with two points to finish the set, 25-14.
The Green Spikers, however, struggled in the second set as none of the Taft-based players could buy a long run. The team salvaged the set by capitalizing on the errors of the Blue Spikers. The Green Spikers brought the team’s struggle in the opening of the third set, but managed to improve in the end to finish Ateneo.
La Salle Coach Sam Acaylar did not call a single timeout throughout the game while Ateneo Coach Leonardo Toyco called two in each of the sets.
The Green Spikers performed exceptionally well; the team made 40 attacks compared to Ateneo’s 22 and out blocked Ateneo, 8-3.
Lady Spikers on fire
Extending a hot winning streak to five games, the Lady Spikers won against the UP Lady Maroons in three sets. Kim Fajardo received the Player of the Game honors with her six points, four of which came from service aces, two from drop balls, and five good sets.
The rookie setter stressed out that the Lady Spikers should display the team’s A – game regardless of the opponent team. She shared, “Huwag maging complacent sa lahat ng gagawin. Determined pa din kahit sino ang kalaban.”
The Lady Spikers established a solid 13-6 lead in the opening frame, but UP threatened to keep pace with the defending champion, trimming the lead down to five at 14-9. The Lady Spikers, however, seized the succeeding plays to win the first set.
Playing against a smaller and less experienced UP squad, the Taft-based volleybelles recorded 13 attacks, eight more than their Maroon counterparts. They also dominated the serving department, scoring three points off service aces, as compared to UP’s zero.
The Lady Maroons then scored the first two points of the second set, but the Lady Spikers buried eight straight to assert control of the game. As Coach Ramil de Jesus’ girls have lessened their errors, the Lady Spikers brushed off UP, 25-8. The following set was a similar story; DLSU capped the game with the same score as the previous set.
DLSU exploited the team’s height advantage as the Lady Spikers registered five blocks, and scored 10 points off UP’s unforced errors during the second set.
With the comfort of having a huge advantage, de Jesus has given more playing time to players such as Fajardo, Cyd Demecillo, Cienne Cruz, Justine Tiu, Denice Tan, and Carol Ann Cerveza.
With the wins, the Green and Lady Spikers improved their records at 2-3 and 5-1 respectively.