History repeats itself as the Lady Spikers completed the team’s latest feat by winning the women’s volleyball championship in UAAP Season 75 to extend the team’s streak to a three time repeat.
The recent feat does not only make the Lady Spikers the three time back-to-back champion of the league; it has also made the Taft-based Spikers the only team in the UAAP that has managed to hold the crown in a 3-peat succession two times.
The first three
Headed by UAAP Season 66 MVP Maureen Penetrante and rookie of the year Desiree Hernandez, the Lady Spikers emerged as the season’s champion along with the Green Spikers. The 2003-2004 season kicked the start of the Lady Spikers’ path towards the first DLSU three-peat.
With a win loss bracket of 14-0, the Lady Spikers, with Penetrante and the season’s best libero Sharmaine Penano, entered the women’s volleyball finals against a familiar foe, the UST Tigresses, only to further sweep the competition after concluding the match up, 3-0 to deliver DLSU’s second championship crown with the reputation as back-to-back champion of UAAP Season 67, 2004-2005.
In a hard fought four-set match, Desiree Hernandez and the rest of Lady Spikers rose as the first three-peat champions of the league after earning a 3-1 win against the championship contenders, Adamson Lady Falcons. The three-peat award obtained in UAAP Season 68, 2005-2006, also recognized the trademark defense of the Lady Spikers as Sharmaine Penano and Relea Saet received distinctions in blocking and digging the offense of the opposing team.
The three-peat ended at the hands of the Grand Championship rival, University of Santo Tomas, in UAAP Season 69, 2006-2007.
Restoring the feat
After a few years of having no straight or back-to-back championship wins, the DLSU Lady Spikers managed to achieve a three-peat once again. This time around, the ladies from Taft won against archrival Ateneo de Manila University.
Holding spotlight on the famed La Salle-Ateneo rivalry, the finals match up between the two opposing teams was much-anticipated. The Lady Spikers conquered the Lady Eagles in two consecutive season finale matches this season. Posting a 3-2 set win through a plausible third-set comeback during the first game, the Taft-based team overpowered the Lady Eagles through a convincing straight set sweep in the second game, sealing La Salle’s third consecutive championship since Season 72, 2010-2011.
This season the team achieved the rare feat. Moreover, Team Captain Abigail Marano received the best blocker and season co-MVP awards; sophomore Ara Galang was also a season co-MVP; and Michele Gumabao received the finals MVP honors.
Sustaining the volleyball glory of De La Salle University, the Lady Spikers, for the second time around has earned a third consecutive championship, a three-peat, a third shot of keeping the Animo spirit ablaze.