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Spikers’ Turf: Green Spikers drop first match to UAAP champion Ateneo

The DLSU Green Spikers dropped their Spikers’ Turf season opener to the Ateneo Blue Eagles in a gruelling four-set match, 25-15, 23-25, 25-19, 25-23, earlier today at the San Juan Arena.

The Taft-based squad was led by Arjay Onia and team captain Raymark Woo with 19 and 15 points, respectively. On the other hand, Ateneo’s team captain Ysrael Marasigan spearheaded the ADMU attack with 19 points, followed by Marck Espejo with 16 points and Joshua Villanueva with 15 points.

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The Green Spikers had a hard time finding their rhythm in the first set. The Katipunan-based squad scored first from an error made by DLSU, which was quickly followed by Esmilzo Polvorosa’s service ace to put Ateneo ahead, 2-0. An exchange of scores happened between the two teams, and the rally ended with Ateneo extending their lead to nine points, 15-6. The Green-and-White squad tried to catch up but the Blue Eagles kept them at bay as they scored consecutive points. In the end, Ateneo won the first set with a score of 25-15.

The beginning of the second set was close as the two teams executed various plays to grab points. A 3-1 run by the Green Spikers broke the deadlock, putting the score at 6-4. Ateneo later took the lead midway through the set, but was quickly answered by the Green Spikers, relying on spikes from Woo and the Blue Eagles’ own errors to take the lead. Later on, a block by La Salle ended the second set in their favor, 25-23.

Similar to the previous set, both teams rallied it out at the beginning of the third. Ateneo broke away from La Salle with a 3-1 run, 6-4. The Green Spikers tried to trim the lead down throughout the set but the Blue Eagles prevented them from reaching the breakpoint. The set ended with Ateneo scoring five consecutive points, three of which were from DLSU’s errors, 25-19.

Both teams kept it close in the beginning of the fourth set until Ateneo executed a 4-0 run, putting them in the lead for good. Errors plagued La Salle midway through the set, a fact that Ateneo took advantage of, scoring several points to keep them ahead. A drop shot from the Blue Eagles ended the set and match with a score of 25-23, in favor of ADMU.

With the loss, the Green Spikers will look to clinch their first win against the Arellano University Chiefs, whom they will face on Wednesday, July 22, at 3pm in the San Juan Arena.

By Tinsel Joaquin

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