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UAAP: Lady Spikers clobber the Lady Tamaraws in three straight sets

Coming off from a loss against the NU Lady Bulldogs, the DLSU Lady spikers commanded a three-set sweep against the FEU Lady Tamaraws, 25-23, 25-13, 25-14, to clinch their sixth win in UAAP Season 84 earlier today, May 28, at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

Middle blocker Thea Gagate led the Lady Spikers in scoring with 14 markers and five blocks. Outside hitter Alleiah Malaluan also contributed 12 points, while team captain Marionne Alba successfully orchestrated DLSU’s attacks as she tallied 18 excellent sets. Erika Santos was an unexpected asset for DLSU as she produced nine points and a block off the bench.

In a losing effort, Shiela Kiseo was the top scorer for the Lady Tamaraws with seven points in addition to seven excellent digs. Meanwhile, Cherrie Tagaod pitched in six points.

Sluggish opening

The Lady Spikers opened the first set with a receiving error and two consecutive out-of-bounds spike attempts trailing, 0-3, to start the game. DLSU struggled to execute their attacks until rookie hitter Malaluan pummeled a spike off the block, as the Taft-based squad inched closer, 3-5. However, FEU dissected La Salle’s floor defense and pulled off a four-point advantage heading into the first technical timeout of the first set, 4-8.

Off a timeout, Malaluan scored back-to-back crosscourt hits and forced the Lady Tamaraws into an error to cut the team’s deficit to three, 7-10. The Lady Tamaraws were unfazed, cruising through with momentum on their side to consistently keep DLSU at bay.

Already behind by five points going into the first set’s second technical timeout, the Lady Spikers continued to struggle as FEU’s lead ballooned to seven after Leila Cruz’s spike attempt failed to hit the court, 13-20. Immediately after, DLSU was suddenly awakened and unleashed a 3-0 run with successful hits from Alba and Malaluan, 16-20. This would keep the Lady Spikers within striking distance as Santos—who came off the bench—would tie it up at 23-all off a quick attack. Alba’s service ace and an FEU net touch violation then sealed DLSU’s nail-biting first set win, 25-23.

Blitzing through

After a stellar comeback in the opening set, DLSU carried their momentum onto the second frame. Gagate, Alba, and Jolina Dela Cruz ignited a 4-0 run to give their team a sizable lead over FEU. The Lady Spikers found their groove as a hit from Gagate down the middle upped DLSU’s lead by seven as they entered the first technical timeout of the second set, 8-1.

A hidden gem in the form of Santos shined through for the Lady Spikers as she proved to be the momentum-shifting piece for the Taft-based squad, continuing to produce with down-the-line hits. With FEU failing to bring back the offensive prowess that they displayed back in the first set—converting only two attacks compared to DLSU’s six midway past the second—La Salle took charge with an 11-point lead heading into the second technical timeout, 16-7. Middle blocker Gagate also made her presence felt on both defense and offense as DLSU continued to pad their lead after looking more comfortable on the court, 19-8. Unfortunately for the Lady Tamaraws, they could not recover from DLSU’s sudden onslaught. The remainder of the second set was marked by great defense and aggressive attacks that placed La Salle ahead of an error-plagued FEU squad. After holding a dominant double-digit lead throughout the second frame, the Taft-based squad did not look back and came out on top, 25-13. 

Bouncing back

Entering the third frame, the tandem of Gagate and Santos picked up right where they left off in the second set to give DLSU a comfortable lead, 6-0. Despite being a setter, Alba also put on a show on the defensive end for the Lady Spikers with excellent digs and receptions to keep the ball in play. La Salle’s stellar opening in the third set was cut short as errors riddled both teams and saw the Lady Tamaraws halt DLSU’s lead, 14-9. To regain momentum, the Green-and-White showed more aggression on offense. Thanks in large part to Santos and Malaluan who delivered a wide range of attacks, the Lady Spikers were in the driver’s seat yet again as they began to pull away, 22-13. Riding on the impressive offensive repertoire of Malaluan, DLSU scored three straight points to seal the match in straight sets, 25-14.

It was a disappointing showing for the Lady Spikers in their previous two games, but they refused to bow out and got to work as a team. Leading scorer and defensive stalwart Gagate acknowledged that the initiative from their seniors helped whip the team back into shape. “…Gusto namin ng change and buti maganda ang naging resulta—nakilala ulit [namin] kung ano at sino ‘yung Lady Spikers.” 

(We wanted a change and it was a good thing that we received positive results. We remembered what and who the Lady Spikers are.)

Also making a name for herself in tonight’s game was Santos, who had a breakout performance for the Lady Spikers. “‘Yung energy niya is positive. ‘Yung maasahan sa kanya is the attack, nakita naman kanina,” said DLSU coach Benson Bocboc, who was all praises for Santos’ showing against the Lady Tamaraws. 

After returning to the winning column, the DLSU Lady Spikers will face off against the UP Fighting Maroons at the SM Mall of Asia Arena on Tuesday, May 31, at 4 pm.

The Scores: 

DLSU – Gagate 14, Malaluan 12, Santos 9, Alba 3, Dela Cruz 3, Hatulan 3, Cruz 2, Sharma 2

FEU – Kiseo 7, Tagaod 6, Fernandez 3, Asis J. 2, Truz 2, Ubaldo 2, De Guzman 1

Set Scores – 25-23, 25-13, 25-14

By Dayne Aduna

By Jaime de los Reyes

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