Yesterday, March 12, was an excellent day for La Salle’s volleyball teams, as both Men’s and Women’s teams clinched victories in their respective UAAP second round match-ups, with the Green Spikers defeating the FEU Tamaraws in four sets, 26-24, 19-25, 25-23, 25-21, and the Lady Spikers dominating the UST Golden Tigresses in straight sets, 25-11, 25-13, 25-17.
Green Spikers captain Raymark Woo led his team with a game-high 22 points on 18 attacks and three aces. Arjay Onia also chipped in 12 points from nine attacks, two aces, and one block. On the other hand, two players from FEU, Gregorio Dolor and Jeric Gacutan, scored in double figures with 12 and 11 points, respectively. With their second consecutive victory since the start of the second round, the Green Spikers now have a 3-6 win-loss record in the tournament.
On the other hand, the Lady Spikers were able to avenge their first-round finale loss to the UST Golden Tigresses in yesterday’s 3:30 pm game. Kim Dy was a standout for La Salle, scoring 12 points off 10 spikes on her way to winning Player of the Game honors. Ara Galang and Mika Reyes added 11 points apiece, while Majoy Baron had eight. Dawn Macandili led the DLSU defense with 29 excellent digs.
Slow but steady wins the game
The first set of the Green Spikers’ 8 am game saw the two opposing teams trading scores in a close match all way until the end, with the score tied at 24 during the latter part of the set. However, the Green Spikers scored back-to-back points to take the set, 26-24.
In the second set, La Salle raced to an early 5-1 lead that eventually became an 8-2 margin heading into the second set’s first technical timeout. Midway through the set, however, FEU scored four consecutive points to take the lead, 20-16, after reaching a couple of breakpoints. La Salle was unable to catch up towards the end of the match, ultimately giving the set to FEU at 25-19.
Similar to the first set, a close match ensued between the two teams in the third set, with the Green Spikers holding an 8-7 lead heading into the first technical timeout of the third set. Eventually, DLSU held on to their slim lead to take the set at 25-23, giving themselves a 2-1 set advantage at that point in the match.
Another close match began in the fourth set as both teams refused to let the other gain a huge lead on them. It was the Green Spikers, however, who won the set and match after a late rally allowed them to pull away from FEU, 25-21.
The Tamaraws outperformed La Salle with 50 excellent attacks and eight blocks to DLSU’s 38 attacks and seven blocks. The Green Spikers, however, led in the service area with eight service aces to FEU’s five. La Salle also incurred less errors with 30 to the 42 errors of FEU.
Cruising to victory
During the Lady Spikers’ afternoon match-up, La Salle raced to a 9-2 lead to start the first set behind Dy’s scoring outburst. The Tigresses were able to get to within four points, 12-8, after several errors from their opponents. However, the Lady Spikers went on a blazing 13-3 run to end the set, capped off by a service ace from Reyes.
It was the same story in the second set as the Lady Spikers grabbed an early 6-1 lead. EJ Laure willed UST back into the game with several plays, trimming their deficit to three, 14-11, midway through the frame. The Taft-based squad countered with an 8-0 burst to pull away from the Tigresses, eventually grabbing a two-set lead.
Thanks to the momentum they gained in the past two sets, DLSU would cruise past their rivals in the third set. Dy and Cyd Demecillo took turns exploiting the gaps in their opponent’s defense, giving the Green-and-White a lead that grew to as many as 12 points. To end the game, a miscommunication between two UST players on a Galang spike gave La Salle the victory.
A look at the game statistics showed the Lady Spikers holding a big advantage over UST in almost every category. They outspiked their opponents, 33-16, more than doubling the Espana-based squad’s output. La Salle also dominated the blocks department, 13-3, with Baron and Reyes combining for 10 of those rejections. DLSU had three players finishing in double figures whereas UST had none. In terms of team play, Kim Fajardo accounted for all 27 of DLSU’S excellent sets, compared to just 13 for the whole UST squad.
Both teams will return to the FilOil Arena this Wednesday, March 16, with the Green Spikers taking on the UST Growling Tigers at 10 am. Meanwhile, the Lady Spikers will face the rejuvenated UP Lady Maroons at 3:30 pm.