SSL: Lady Spikers overcome rough first set to hand UST Golden Tigresses first loss

The DLSU Lady Spikers earned a four-set victory in the Shakey’s Super League (SSL) over the UST Golden Tigresses, 22-25, 27-25, 25-16, 25-21, earlier today, October 30, at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum. Their win-loss record in the second round of the SSL now stands at 2-0.

Angel Canino showed out in the victory for DLSU, posting 25 points and carrying her side to the victory versus the previously undefeated UST on 19 attacks, two blocks, and four aces.

First-set struggles

The Green and White got an advantage early into the game, 4-2, after Gagate finished a quick attack around the UST block. The action that ensued was riddled by errors as DLSU entered the first technical timeout leading, 8-5. Off the break, UST wasted no time in bouncing back, going on a 5-0 run to take the lead before DLSU assistant coach Noel Orcullo called a timeout after his side fell behind, 10-8. The team from Taft struggled to contain Golden Tigresses exiting the huddle, as UST took control of the set and scored off the hands of the Taft towers. La Salle trailed heading into the second technical timeout, 12-16. On the back of Canino, the Lady Spikers regrouped in the final leg of the opening set as the rookie overcame her slow start to bring her team within striking distance, 17-18. Despite committing errors on offense and defense DLSU they stayed in contention, as Canino willed her team forward, 22-23. However, the Lady Spikers struggled to hold on, as the team from España’s offense proved to be too much, 25-22.

Come back force

To start the second set, DLSU was awarded with the first two points coming from Joyce Abueg’s attack errors. After Jade Fuentes was blocked, a miscommunication error from La Salle gave UST a free point, tying the game 2-all. To outsmart the Taft towers-powered defense of La Salle, Jonna Perdido’s power tip tied the game once again, 6-all. The Lady Spikers struggled to pull away at the half of the second set as their defense declined, taking hold of their room to make an offense. Nevertheless the super rookies of DLSU stepped up in the match; a quick attack from Amie Provido and an off-the-block hit from Canino forced UST to call a timeout, 15-16. As an offensive setter, Julia Coronel’s position in the frontline took the chance to convert a surprise attack to tie the game at 18-all. To boot, an open attack from Canino gave La Salle the upper hand at set point, 24-23. Determined to put an end to the deuce, a back attack from the most reliable Canino won the second set for DLSU, 27-25.

Asserting dominance

The Lady Spikers blitzed to a 3-0 lead after exhibiting excellent floor defense to start the third frame. DLSU had finally shaken off the dust from the first few sets to gain a four-point lead, 6-2, prompting UST head coach KungFu Reyes to call an early timeout. DLSU’s offense hit its stride as an outside hit from Baby Jyne Soreño sent her side to the first technical timeout of the set ahead, 8-2. After a mixed opening set, Canino was primed to take over the game, carrying DLSU to a nine point lead, 14-5. UST could not seem to get anything going in the third frame as a service error saw the Green and White go into the second technical timeout of the set with a double-digit advantage, 16-6. Canino continued her stellar set by terrorizing UST from the service line, forcing UST to call another timeout as the set was slipping out of reach, 18-6. UST slowly worked themselves back into the set, decreasing the deficit to as little as six, 20-14, after a DLSU timeout failed to kill their momentum. Veteran setter Mars Alba orchestrated DLSU’s offense to guide her set to the set win, misdirecting the Growling Tigers’ blockers and opening up Canino and Soreño as they approached set point, 23-16. UST failed to hold on as Alba ended the third set herself, closing out the frame with a block.

Unbeatable strength 

Alba started the fourth set converting a service ace. Multiple deadlocks occurred early in this set as both teams showed eagerness. An emphatic attack from Canino gave La Salle a two-point advantage, 11-9. Showing their offensive prowess, Provido was able to convert an attack before heading into the second technical timeout, 16-14. Back-to-back points from Angeli Abellana and an ace from Cassie Carballo gave UST a 3-0 run, 19-18. La Salle struggled with their reception which gave the team from España multiple opportunities to convert attacks. To cut the short momentum, a no entry single block by Canino put the Lady Spikers up by two points, 22-20. Consequently, a service error from Abbu and an attack by Canino put DLSU at set-point and Captain Alba took charge by ending the set with a surprise attack, 25-21.

With this win, DLSU’s now holds a 2-0 in the second round of SSL. Their first win was awarded by the organizers as they won their preliminary round group with FEU tallying a loss—according to the league’s rules. They look to maintain their flawless record versus the AdU Lady Falcons on a date yet to be announced at the same venue. The Lady Spikers’ match versus the Lady Falcons was originally meant to be played yesterday, October 29, but was postponed due to Typhoon Paeng.

Diego Manzano

By Diego Manzano

Ysa Bakabak

By Ysa Bakabak

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