UAAP Finals: Lady Spikers drop Game Three against Ateneo, series extended to rubber match


The UAAP Women’s Volleyball season is not yet over.

After a huge comeback to force a fifth set from a two sets to zero deficit, the DLSU Lady Spikers failed to seal the deal for their fourth straight championship as they bowed to the fierce ADMU Lady Eagles, 25-21, 25-23, 18-25, 16-25, 17-15. UAAP Season 76 MVP Alyssa Valdez led the charge for the Lady Eagles with 22 points, followed by Amy Ahomiro and rookie Michelle Morente who contributed 18 points apiece.

Meanwhile, Ara Galang led the Lady Spikers with a season-high 28 points off 22 spikes, five blocks, and an ace.

A slow start

The opening set saw the Lady Spikers in an unfamiliar situation. With Ateneo leading during the early minutes of the set, the scoreboard then turned to the favor of the Lady Spikers as they were able to snatch the lead by the midway point. However, a dominating performance by Ateneo’s team captain Valdez, Morente, and Ahomiro kept the Lady Eagles at bay, notching a 5-0 run in a late rally to shift the lead to their advantage. Two consecutive points courtesy of Valdez and Ahomiro concluded the first set in favor of Ateneo, 25-21.

The rally continued as the Lady Eagles took the second set. After a highly competitive set with 12 deadlocks in total, the Lady Eagles were able to grind it out, beating the Lady Spikers by two points, 25-23. The Lady Eagles showcased their offense as they were able to provide an answer to the Lady Spikers’ defense. The women in blue had a total of 15 spikes in the second set. The Lady Spikers were able to minimize the lead through offensive and defensive plays of their own, but they just couldn’t get a good reception on the attacks of the Lady Eagles.

La Salle keeps afloat

The Lady Eagles continued to count on the prowess of Valdez and Morente to take an early four point lead in the third set, 9-5. The Lady Spikers then scored four consecutive points to tie the score at 10-all. Galang fired away with four straight attacks to lead the charge for DLSU.

The Lady Spikers didn’t let their guard down as they scored off back-to-back blocks from Mika Reyes and Cyd Demecillo to push their lead to six at 23-17. A spike from Demecillo gave the Lady Spikers their first set point of the match. Finally, Reyes put the finishing touches on the set with a quick hit to keep the Lady Spikers alive in the game, 25-18.

The Lady Spikers showed composure in the fourth set as they dominated Ateneo, 25-16. With consecutive attacks from Galang, La Salle saw themselves in the driver’s seat with a score of 8-3 entering the first technical timeout, and they eventually concluded the set at 25-16.

Late collapse

In the fifth and deciding set, both teams opened it with a back and forth exchange. However, a smart attack from this season’s best setter Kim Fajardo gave her squad a three point lead, 9-6. Demecillo and Galang charged the offense for the Lady Spikers to put them ahead by four points. Fajardo once again had a smart play to bring La Salle two points away from the championship, 13-11.

An attack from Valdez followed by a crucial attacking error from Galang then tied the game at 13-all. Ateneo scored the next point to give their squad the set point. Reyes then did not let her team down as she scored through an attack to save Ateneo’s match point.

La Salle’s blocking proved to be a decisive factor for their squad as it brought the Lady Spikers within a point of the championship. However, another attack from Valdez changed the pace of the game and brought ADMU to set point. A crucial call from the referees was called against the Lady Spikers and it gave the win to the Lady Eagles, 17-15.

With the Lady Spikers failing to win the championship today, the UAAP Women’s Volleyball finals will be decided in a knock-out match which will be held on Saturday, March 15, at 3:30 pm in the Mall of Asia Arena.

Maria Teresa de Borja

By Maria Teresa de Borja

Rogie Vasquez

By Rogie Vasquez

Joseton Lichauco

By Joseton Lichauco

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