SportsUAAP: Lady Spikers fall to Lady Eagles in four sets, end first round with 5-2 record
UAAP: Lady Spikers fall to Lady Eagles in four sets, end first round with 5-2 record

Coming off a three-game winning streak, the DLSU Lady Spikers bowed to the ADMU Lady Eagles in four sets, 26-24, 26-24, 21-25, 25-17, earlier today at the Mall of Asia Arena. La Salle now holds a 5-2 win-loss record and sits in second place. Meanwhile, ADMU holds a 6-1 win-loss record and sits atop the standings.

Kim Kianna Dy led La Salle with 15 points on 12 spikes and three blocks while MaJoy Baron recorded 14 points on nine spikes and three service aces. Lady Eagle Michelle Morente finished with a game-high of 25 points on 20 spikes, three blocks, and two aces.

La Salle struggles to close out

Majoy Baron opened the game with five straight points to put her team on an early advantage, 5-1. ADMU brought itself within striking distance, 10-8, with the help of distributed scoring from their hitters. However, a block by Kim Fajardo sparked a 4-0 run, which included a long rally that ended in a La Salle combination play to give her team the lead, 14-8. A violation by the Lady Spikers allowed their opponents to go on a run of their own.

The showdown between the two top setters of the league highlighted the game. With DLSU leading, 18-16, Fajardo showcased her trickery to fool the Atenean defenders. ADMU’s Jia Morado retaliated with a trick shot of her own shortly after. It seemed that La Salle was on its way to close the first set, 23-19, but consecutive miscues by the Lady Spikers provided a gateway for their rivals to come back. With DLSU leading, 24-21, the Lady Eagles made a comeback and closed the first set, 26-24.

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The Lady Spikers, not allowing to be swayed by the result of the first set, took a commanding 7-1 lead early in the second set. They began portraying their prowess on net defense in particular behind Baron and Aduke Ogunsanya.

Their floor defense struggled, on the other hand. Attacks by Lady Eagle Michelle Morente caught the Lasallian defenders off guard. In addition, La Salle committed five consecutive errors on offense, giving momentum to their rivals.

On the other side, ADMU was excellent on its floor defense. The Lady Eagles’ receptions were major to recovering from DLSU’s  attacks. The Lady Spikers would find the loop holes on their opponents’ defense and would score five straight points to extend their lead to 23-18, nearing themselves to close the second set. ADMU was not to be denied, though, as Bea De Leon and Tolentino tied the set at 23-all. La Salle was unable to close the set again, as it allowed the Lady Eagles to slip past, 26-24.

Lady Spikers bounce back

The Lady Spikers, continued to fight despite being down by two sets. They made an early run composed of three errors from ADMU and a spike from Tiamzon to take an early three-point lead. However, the Lady Eagles rallied back and sparked a 6-0 run to lead, 9-5, coming from kills from Morente, Tolentino, and a block from De Leon.

The score would be tied again at 12 apiece, due to consecutive errors from the Lady Eagles and blocks from Ogunsnya and Baron. La Salle’s errors, however, gave ADMU easy points which resulted to a 4-0 run. The Lasallians answered back through the effective service of May Luna. Luna had two consecutive service aces, and this, along with a couple of attacks from Dy and a block from Ogunsanya, contributed to a 20-17 advantage for La Salle.

Morente stopped the bleeding with a spike to stop the run. DLSU was able to tie the Blue-and-White at 21-all and secure the set through an error from Maraguinot and a net touch later on, however. The Lady Spikers managed to secure the third set, 25-21, and extend the game.

ADMU seals victory

The fourth set started with DLSU seeking to make a comeback. Both teams opened the set strong, which led to ADMU holding an 8-7 lead in the first TTO. However, ADMU found its rhythm offensively. The Lady Eagles made use of combination plays for Maraguinot and Tolentino.

La Salle was unable to claw its way back into the set as the team from Katipunan continued to increase its lead with consistent plays and a handful of errors from the Lady Spikers. ADMU sealed the game coming from a service error from Ogunsanya.

The Lasallians doubled their production in service aces compared to their counterparts, who only recorded six. They also had the upper hand in blocks, garnering a total of 14 compared to seven from ADMU. Errors proved to hound La Salle, however, as it committed 31 as compared to the Atenean’s 21.

As of press time, the second round schedule of the UAAP Season 79 Volleyball Tournament has yet to be released.

The scores

DLSU 90- Dy 15, Baron 14, Ogunsanya 12, Fajardo 10, Luna 8, Tiamzon 5, Cheng 5

ADMU 98- Morente 25, Tolentino 18, De Leon 9, Maraguinot 5, Morado 4, Madayag 4, Gopico 1, Gequillana 1