The DLSU Lady Spikers defended the crown once more this UAAP Season 80 after triumphing over the FEU Lady Tamaraws in straight sets, 26-24, 25-20, 26-24, earlier today at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
With the win, La Salle bagged its 11th UAAP Volleyball crown and third consecutive title under head coach Ramil De Jesus. Dawn Macandili took home the Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP) award after finishing with 21 excellent digs and eight excellent receptions that aided the Lady Spikers in defending their crown. Along with Macandili, Kim Kianna Dy provided the Green-and-White with 19 points on 16 attacks, two blocks and one service ace to secure the title.
Meanwhile, Bernadeth Pons was the only player in FEU who scored in double digits and tallied 17 points in 16 attacks and 15 excellent digs, in the losing effort.
“Actually itong season na to sobrang nakakapagod, di mo alam if matatalo mo yung team o hindi. Kinailangan namin ng puso at hirap para manalo” team captain Majoy Baron recalls at the end of the match.
(Actually, this season was very tiring, you wouldn’t know if you will defeat the team or not. We needed heart and determination to win.)
Composure is key
It was a rough start for the Lady Spikers as they were behind almost throughout the whole set. Not only did the Lasallians have a hard time reading and defending the attacks coming from Pons, but the Lady Tamaraws were able to pressure the Green-and-White to commit eight unforced errors on the first set.
Similar to Game One last Saturday, May Luna proved once more to be an important player for La Salle. Luna was able to cut the deficit as she relentlessly attacked FEU to score three crucial points. Moreover, despite already being at 24-points, the Lady Tamaraws were unable to stop a 5-0 run courtesy of the veterans Dy and Baron for DLSU to comeback and ultimately win the first set, 26-24.
Following the amazing come-from-behind performance by the Lady Spikers, the team utilized the momentum that they had and built an early advantage by way of Baron’s awareness when it comes to offense and defense, including a couple of unforced errors committed by the Lady Tamaraws. La Salle’s lead would swell to eight points coming from a 7-0 run by DLSU and was capped off by Tin Tiamzon who scored via a service ace, as it seemed that the team from Taft had taken control of the second set and was slowly pulling away.
The team from Morayta had other ideas, however, as they gradually chipped the lead, but Aduke Ogunsanya would negate FEU’s resurgence after she attained the set point virtue of a service ace, gave the Green-and-White and two set edge over FEU, and a set away from the UAAP title, 25-20.
La Salle takes the title
In the third and final set, the Lady Tamaraws were at the driver’s seat once more as they were up ahead the defending champions with three points. Nonetheless, unlike in the first set, the Lady Spikers made a run for it early on after pressuring FEU to commit errors and numerous quick plays from Baron to go on a 12-2 run.
The team from Morayta did not easily give up as Jerrili Malabanan gave it her all and stopped the Lasallians from winning at championship point with a 4-0 run at 24-20. Nevertheless, with an off-speed spike and a crosscourt attack from Dy and Tiamzon respectively, the Lady Spikers won De Jesus’ 260th match win, and consequently their third consecutive title.
Both teams had difficulties in managing their errors as La Salle obtained 22 compared to 21 of the Lady Tamaraws. Furthermore, La Salle had fewer excellent receptions at 24, and Michelle Cobb recorded 23 excellent sets as compared to Kyle Negrito’s 15.
DLSU once again proved that they are the best team in terms of service aces as they had the upper-hand in the said category with eight while FEU only managed to make one which was made by Toni Basas.
DLSU: (3) – Dy 19, Baron 10, Tiamzon 10, Ogunsanya 7, Luna 6, Cheng 3, Cobb 1, Saga 0, Macandili 0
FEU: (0) – Pons 17, Domingo 7, Guino-o 6, Malabanan 6, Villareal 4, Basas 2, Carandang 2, Cayuna 1, Negrito 1, Hernandez 0, Duremdes 0, Atienza 0,