The Green and Lady Spikers ended with contrasting results in the UAAP Season 80 Beach Volleyball Tournament, which was held in two consecutive weekends at the Mall of Asia Sands by the Bay last October 5 to 8 and 12 to 15.
In the first weekend, the Green Spikers finished second to the last in the standings, tied with the UE Red Warriors, holding a 2-5 win-loss record, while the Lady Spikers stood at fourth place at 4-3. Eventually, both teams failed to reach the Final Four, with the Green Spikers taking an early exit and the Lady Spikers falling out of the step ladder against the third-seeded UP Lady Maroons.
Green Spikers falter
The DLSU Green Spikers garnered their first win in their opening match against the AdU Soaring Falcons. The duo of Carlo Sendo and Cris Dumago edged the Soaring Falcons in a three-set thriller, 26-24,18-21,13-15, to start strong in the tournament.
Unfortunately for the Green Spikers, they were not able to ride the momentum they gained from their first match as they lost their following assignments against UP, ADMU, and FEU in straight sets throughout the next two days.
Their woes once again continued last Sunday in their match-up against UST. In the first set, La Salle was immediately behind the Tiger Spikers, as the latter went on a 5-1 run at the beginning of the set. KR Guzman and Anthony Arbasto of UST eventually pulled away midway through the set to take the victory, 21-13. Despite both teams trading points that led to a five-all deadlock in the second set, the Green Spikers eventually bowed to UST, 21-14.
Sendo cited their lack of intensity and determination as a problem in their first two losses against the Katipunan-based teams, UP and ADMU. “Nagkulang kami sa intensity tapos may mga plays kami na kaya pa namin pero nalelet go namin tapos ayun mostly intensity namin nawala.”
(We lacked intensity and we had plays which we could have gotten but failed.)
In their last match of the tournament, the team from Taft faced off with the UE Red Warriors.
The Green Spikers ended their Season 80 campaign placing seventh, similar to last season’s results. Meanwhile, the NU Bulldogs dethroned the Tiger Spikers in a thrilling three-set match, 21-16, 21-14, 15-13, to claim the crown.
Lady Spikers make a stand
The Lady Spikers, composed of Tin Tiamzon and May Luna, secured wins against UE and AdU in straight sets, along with a hard-fought victory versus NU, 17-21, 21-19, 20-18.
Conversely, the Green and White was trounced by the defending champions, UST, despite securing the first set in a 21-23, 21-19, 15-11 thriller. La Salle was also defeated by FEU, which was led by veterans Bernadeth Pons and Kyla Atienza. The match had the same outcome as the one against UST as Tiamzon and Luna won the first set, 23-21, through a kill from Tiamzon, but the team eventually lost against a composed FEU tandem.
The Lasallians managed to tie the game against the team from Morayta at 8-all in the second set. However, errors doomed La Salle as Pons started to assert dominance offensively. The Tamaraws closed the second set having a huge margin, 21-13, through a reception error by La Salle and a spike by Pons. Momentum continued to shift as FEU was determined to close out DLSU. The Tamaraws eventually sealed the deciding set with a kill by Atienza off Tiamzon, 10-14. Continuing, La Salle also failed to take a stand in its match against UP, in which the team from Katipunan edged DLSU in straight sets.
In their match against archrivals ADMU Lady Eagles, the Lady Spikers held a twice-to-beat advantage. Fortunately for the team, the duo of Tiamzon and Luna easily defeated ADMU in straight sets, 21-10, 21-9. The win relinquished the hopes of the Lady Eagles for a playoff for the final postseason spot in the tournament.
Despite a strong first set in their stepladder playoffs against UP, La Salle failed to secure another set as the team from Katipunan bounced back and claimed the win in a tight three-set match, 21-17, 21-19, 15-12. The loss ended the campaign for the Lady Spikers as the Lady Maroons got a podium finish in Season 80.
The Lady Spikers were ousted in the competition as they held a 4-3 win-loss record that placed them in fourth, just below UP. Meanwhile, the squad of UST was named back-to-back champions of the tournament as they dominated against the Lady Tamaraws in the finals.