UAAP: Lady Spikers tally another victory in a lightning three-set match against the UP Fighting Maroons

The DLSU Lady Spikers affixed another win to their second UAAP Season 85 Women’s Volleyball Tournament record after their victory versus the UP Fighting Maroons in three quick sets, 25-14, 25-20, 25-14, earlier today, March 1, at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

Star rookie Angel Canino led DLSU in the lopsided affair, tallying 13 points made of 11 attacks and two aces, dubbing her the player of the game once again. Thea Gagate and Jolina Dela Cruz backed La Salle’s play with 12 and 10 points, respectively. 

In a valiant effort, UP Fighting Maroon Stephanie Bustrillo carried her team with 10 points made out of nine attacks. Supporting her was Alyssa Bertolano, who pitched in seven points for the team from Diliman.

Strong start 

The Lady Spikers began the match by showcasing their offensive prowess. Gagate first broke ground for La Salle by finishing a quick attack down the middle. Leading their team, veteran players Dela Cruz and Alba converted an attack and service ace respectively which forced UP to call a timeout, at 4-0, early in the first set.

With attempts to cut the lead, cross court attacks from Encarnacion and Bustrillo were not enough as the team from Taft took advantage of their unforced errors to slowly run away with the opening frame. After a substitution in the latter part of the set, Soreño immediately made her presence felt, scoring with an off-the-block attack, 21-11. A single block from Dela Cruz put DLSU at match point before a service error from Bertolano gave the Lady Spikers the set to win, 25-14.

Keeping the lead solid 

La Salle relentlessly maintained their footing through the trio of Alba, Canino, and Sharma’s powerful and strategic point-making during the second set. However, the Fighting Maroons remained steadfast, responding with a four-point run that put them in the lead for the first time in the match, 10-9. 

Interim DLSU coach Noel Orcullo was not happy with what he saw, immediately calling a timeout in an attempt to regroup his side. It led to several exchanges between both eager teams, with DLSU refusing the team from Diliman room to breathe. La Salle’s stellar rookie, Canino, carved out a crucial point with a service ace that led to the match point. Shortly after, team captain Mars Alba stepped up for her side, using a power tip to hand the second set to the Lady Spikers, 25-20.

Team effort

DLSU kept their performance solid with everyone doing their part inside the court. After a service ace from their team captain Alba, opposite hitter, Leila Cruz was able to wipe an attack over the opposing blockers, 3-1. An exchange of plays took place and Cruz once again ended the rally in her team’s favor with a quick attack, seeing La Salle head into the first technical timeout with a comfortable cushion, 8-1.

A service ace from rookie middle blocker Amie Provido gave La Salle a nine-point lead. In her UAAP debut, another rookie, opposite hitter Shevana Laput scored consecutively with a down-the-line attack and a block which put the Lady Spikers at set point, 24-13. Laput did not disappoint as she displayed perseverance to secure the third set and win the game, 25-13.

Coming from a five-set match against UST, Canino shared her thoughts on her teams performance today. “Nalabas po namin yung kaya namin and napush namin yung sarili namin.” She further pointed out how everyone in the team contributed to their win today.

(We let out what we were capable of doing and we pushed ourselves.)

Although there were a few lapses from the team, La Salle mentor Orcullo ensures that the players will to stick to the system and work on their craft in preparation for their upcoming fixtures. He further mentions how he hopes for his side’s level of play should continue to trend upwards as the season progresses, “Papunta sa second round, kailangan pataas ng pataas yung lalaruin.” 

(Going into the second round, our level of play needs to keep improving.)

Looking to maintain their solid momentum, the Lady Spikers are eager and ready to face their archrival, the Ateneo Blue Eagles, on March 5, Sunday, at 3 pm, at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Scores:

DLSU 3 – Canino 13, Dela Cruz 12, Gagate 10, Alba 6, Cruz 6, Sharma 4, Laput 3, Provido 1, Soreño 1

UP 0 – Bustrillo 10, Bertolano 7, Ytang 6, Encarnacion 5, Arce 3, Goc 1

Set Scores: 25-14, 25-20, 25-14

Ysa Bakabak

By Ysa Bakabak

Angel Migue

By Angel Migue

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