Lady Spikers claim first Beach Volleyball crown, Green Spikers settle for sixth

After years of hard work and perseverance, the DLSU Lady Spikers, represented by Kim Fajardo, Cyd Demecillo, and Ernestine Tiamzon, finally reached the top after being crowned champions in the UAAP Season 78 Beach Volleyball Tournament last October 21 at the SM Sands by the Bay.

Meanwhile, the DLSU Green Spikers, led by Carlo Sendo, Cris Dumago, and Levin Dimayuga, saw improvement in their performance in Season 78, finishing the tournament in sixth place, a notch above last season.

CJ Magalit []

Contrasting results

The elimination round proved to be a bumpy ride for the Lady Spikers as they started the season with a loss to the FEU Lady Tamaraws in three sets, 21-15, 17-21, 17-15. La Salle made a comeback to improve their win-loss standing to 1-1 as they defeated the UP Lady Maroons in straight sets, 21-14, 21-15. DLSU faced the Adamson Lady Falcons in their third matchup and were handed their second loss in the tournament, 21-14, 21-18.

To gain back their momentum, the Lady Spikers routed the UE Lady Warriors in a quick two-set match, 21-10, 21-9. It was smooth sailing for DLSU after that as they defeated the Ateneo Lady Eagles, NU Lady Bulldogs, and the previous season’s champions, the UST Growling Tigresses one after the other.

On the other hand, the Green Spikers had a good start to their tournament, winning against the UE Red Warriors in three sets, 21-10, 19-21, 15-13. However, they failed to follow up their first victory as they were beaten on the second day by the FEU Tamaraws and the Ateneo Blue Eagles. Unable to recover from their losses, the Green Spikers suffered consecutive defeats in their succeeding matches.

Renz Perez []

Rivalry revisited

The Taft-Katipunan rivalry was once again rekindled as the Lady Spikers took on the Lady Eagles in a virtual best-of-three games semifinal matchup, with La Salle prevailing over Ateneo, two games to one.

La Salle started the series by winning a tightly contested Game One in straight sets, 21-19, 21-16. The Lady Spikers showcased their brilliant defense against a solid offensive outing by the Lady Eagles.

With only one win needed to advance to the Finals, La Salle failed to overcome Ateneo in Game Two, 21-16, 24-22. The Lady Spikers were not able to hold off reigning UAAP Indoor Volleyball MVP Alyssa Valdez, whose offensive outburst evened the series. In addition to this, La Salle also committed numerous errors that proved fatal to the outcome of the game.

In the crucial do-or-die game, the Lady Spikers triumphed in three sets, 20-22, 21-14, 16-14, giving themselves their second consecutive trip to the finals. The La Salle-Ateneo rivalry proved to be exciting as the games were closely fought from the get-go. Ateneo won the first set, La Salle dominated the second, and DLSU finished the third set and the game in classic fashion.


Straight to the finish line

Falling short in last year’s finals, the Lady Spikers came into this year’s Finals series on a mission to take the elusive Beach Volleyball crown. They faced the FEU Lady Tamaraws in two games, with La Salle taking both games and the championship.

The first match lasted for three sets, with the Lady Spikers coming out on top, 21-17, 16-21, 15-12. Both teams kept the scores close during the first set until DLSU pulled away at the 17-all mark of the match with a 4-0 run, winning the set 21-17. The second set, however, went in FEU’s favor as they won it with a score of 21-16. La Salle started out strong in the third set and the Lady Tamaraws tried to retaliate but the Lady Spikers countered their attacks, taking the set and the match, 15-12.

With the momentum gained from the previous match, the Lady Spikers secured the second game in straight sets, 21-16, 25-23. The two teams kept their scores close to each other in the early parts of the match. Eventually, La Salle broke away from the 16-all deadlock, scoring five successive points to win the set with a score of 21-16. A tightly contested match also occurred between the teams towards the end of the second set. However, two consecutive points from the Lady Spikers ended the set and the match at 25-23, in favor of La Salle.

This year’s UAAP Beach Volleyball tournament was bittersweet for La Salle. The Green Spikers failed to enter the playoffs, but they managed to improve their record from the last two seasons. On the other hand, the Lady Spikers came home with the victory, hailed as UAAP Season 78 Beach Volleyball champions for the first time since the tournament’s inception in 2006, with Fajardo being named as the season MVP.

Patrick Quintero

By Patrick Quintero

Tinsel Joaquin

By Tinsel Joaquin

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