The beginning of the first set was tough for the Green-and-White. With the Santiago and Jasmine Nabor combination, the offense played by NU took a toll on the performance of the Lady Spikers. Furthermore, the countless errors done inside the court by La Salle placed them behind the Lady Bulldogs almost throughout the whole set.
It was only when Dy led a 5-1 run to cut the deficit and come to a deadlock at 18-18. Risa Sato did not make it easy for DLSU to simply take the lead, however, as she scored two consecutive points on both the offensive and defensive end. Nonetheless, as soon as de Jesus placed Arriane Layug inside the court, she was able to score crucial points to prevent the Lady Bulldogs from securing a set win at 24-all. With Baron and Desiree Cheng’s kill block and service ace, respectively, the Lasallians won their first set.
Santiago once more made sure that the Lady Bulldogs were not too far behind as she scored seven points in total in the second set. It was only with a crosscourt attack from May Luna and a kill block from Tin Tiamzon that ended the set in favor of the team from Taft at 25-22.
On to the finals
The Lady Spikers maintained their momentum and were determined to completely close out the Lady Bulldogs. La Salle raced to a quick 8-1 lead coming into the first technical timeout. The team’s collective effort continued as they dimmed NU’s chances of a spot in the finals.
La Salle’s frontline seemed to pierce through the NU defense. The Lady Bulldogs, on the other hand, had difficulty scoring because of La Salle’s tight floor defense headed by Macandili. The veteran libero had a handful of heroic saves throughout the match with 23 excellent digs.
DLSU led by as much as ten points by the second technical timeout of the set courtesy of an ace from Aduke Ogunsanya. Norielle Ipac was subbed in late in the game for Cheng and contributed a couple of points. From then on, it was smooth sailing for the Lasallians as they clinched their tenth consecutive finals berth, 25-11.
La Salle will face the FEU Lady Tamaraws in Game 1 of the finals on Saturday, April 28, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
DLSU (3) – Dy 17, Tiamzon 11, Baron 9, Cheng 8, Ogunsanya 6, Cobb 3, Layug 2, Ipac 2, Luna 1, Saga 0, Macandili 0
NU (0) – Santiago 17, Nabor 8, Sato 6, Doromal 3, Singh 3, Urdas 1, Paran 1, Doria 0, Valdez 0