SportsUAAP Finals: Lady Spikers grab finals series lead after four-set rout of ADMU      
UAAP Finals: Lady Spikers grab finals series lead after four-set rout of ADMU      
May 2, 2017
May 2, 2017

The DLSU Lady Spikers took Game 1 of the UAAP Season 79 Volleyball Finals after routing their archrivals, the ADMU Lady Eagles, 21-25, 29-27, 25-22, 25-20, earlier today at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Tin Tiamzon led the Green-and-White with 15 points on 15 attacks and eight excellent receptions. Kim Fajardo was also a major contributor for La Salle after scoring 10 points on seven service aces while adding 37 excellent sets and 10 excellent digs. On the other hand, Jhoana Maraguinot scored 16 points on 14 spikes for the Lady Eagles.

Aggressive play on both sides

Both teams began the match with equally high intensity. The Lady Eagles opened the game with a stellar offensive display, but La Salle was able to keep up with its frenetic defense on both the net and on the floor. DLSU, however, continued to give easy points to its opponents by committing multiple lapses on the offensive end.

The Lady Spikers committed 11 unforced errors in the first set while their archrivals only gave up five. Tiamzon and Desiree Cheng gave problems to their team, making crucial errors which were fatal for La Salle. ADMU’s Maraguinot kept La Salle on its toes for majority of the set and the entire game with aggressive attacks. She would eventually close the first set, 25-21.

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Surprisingly, the Lady Spikers, a team which has identified itself with excellent blocking, were not able to get a single point from a block in the first set. With ADMU leading, 7-6, La Salle scored its first point off a block courtesy of MaJoy Baron, who finished with eight points on one block. However, La Salle continued to look out of sync on both sides.

It would seem that the Lady Eagles would cruise through the second set, but continuous errors, 14 in the set alone, brought La Salle back in the game. As DLSU trailed, 22-18, the Lady Spikers scored six straight points, most of which due to their opponents’ errors, to grab a one point lead, 23-22.

Winning the second set was crucial for La Salle, as it would dictate the rest of the game. The Lasallians managed to stand victorious after the thrilling second set. Cheng, who was struggling, began to turn it around after an attack at the 26-all mark and DLSU would equalize, 29-27, with each side holding one set apiece.

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Maximizing momentum

DLSU maximized its momentum after winning the exhilarating second set. Tiamzon scored four of La Salle’s first five points in the third set, following a lackluster first two frames. The Lady Spikers would continue to take control of the game, while ADMU began to look out of sync. They were unable to get good chances on offense, as their first five points came from La Salle’s errors.

Aduke Ogunsanya was a big factor on defense as she showed great hustle in crucial stretches. She recorded seven points on two blocks. Head Coach Ramil De Jesus commended Ogunsanya, saying, “Every practice, maganda naman yung pinapakita ni Ogunsanya.” (In every practice, she puts up a good showing.)

Despite committing 11 errors in the set, La Salle managed to slip past ADMU in the third set, 25-22.

Trailing two sets to one, ADMU increased its intensity at the start of the fourth set. It was an exchange of points, but La Salle pulled away, 8-6. Cheng began to minimize her errors and played a big factor in the latter part of the game.

The Lady Eagles led, 18-15, but La Salle was not to be denied as it scored five straight points to regain the lead. From that point on, ADMU only managed to score two points and the Lady Spikers walked away with the win, 25-20.

After their first win against their archrivals this season, De Jesus praised his players, “Mas gusto nila manalo. Sabi ko lang sa kanila na magstep up,” (They wanted to win more and I just told them to step up.)

The Lady Spikers will have a chance to complete their quest for back-to-back titles in Game 2 of the best-of-three finals on Saturday, May 6, at 4 pm at the same venue.

The scores:

DLSU 100 (3) – Tiamzon 15, Dy 14, Fajardo 10, Cheng, 10, Baron 8, Ogunsanya 7, Luna 2

ADMU 94 (1) – Maraguinot 16, De Leon 14, Morente 11, Morado 5,  Madayag 3, Gopico 3, Tolentino 2