UAAP: Lady Spikers end elimination round with sweep over UE for 13th win

The DLSU Lady Spikers ended Round Two of the UAAP Season 85 Women’s Volleyball tournament by securing their 13th win via a three-set sweep over the UE Red, 25-17, 25-20, 25-17 , earlier today, April 29, at the FilOil EcoOil Centre.

In the Lady Spikers’ last game of the elimination round, super rookie Angel Canino topped the scoring for her side with 13 points from nine attacks, two blocks, and two aces. Supporting her in the victory were Jolina Dela Cruz with eight points, along with Thea Gagate and Alleiah Malaluan who each tallied six markers. Facilitating the offense was Team Captain Mars Alba who tallied 13 excellent sets in a Player of the Game winning performance.

In a valiant effort for the Red Warriors, KC Cepada tallied 16 points, while Vanessa Bangayan chipped in 10. 

Overall Team Effort

After the Lady Red Warriors opened the set, 1-0, a Canino block and errors from the UE squad paved the way for the Lady Spikers to take an early lead, 3-1. La Salle’s tower Gagate then ended a long rally to further their lead, 4-1. Janine Lana finally stopped the Lady Spikers’ 4-0 run with a spike, 4-2. The Canino and Sharma pair took turns in attacking the opposite squad’s defense earning them a 7-2 lead. Rookie Shevana Laput continued to show out after an excellent performance last game as she lashed out an empathic spike that led to the first technical timeout of the first set.

UE’s timeout proved effective as they quickly converted a point produced by Janine Lana, 8-4. Sharma answered right away with a quick attack of her own followed by a Canino service ace, paving the way for the DLSU Lady Spikers’ 10-4 lead. Both teams continued to exchange points throughout the stretch with UE fighting to reduce the gap. A pair of service errors coming from the two teams spearheaded the second technical timeout, ending the second half of the set with the Lady Spikers in the lead, 16-9. 

Super rookie Canino scored two straight points to open the third half of the set forcing an early UE timeout. The opposite team’s breather translated to a point for the Lady Red Warriors, igniting their 4-0 run. The Lady Spikers faltered momentarily on the receiving end, due to Jan Lana’s service aces, that pressured Head Coach Ramil De Jesus to call a timeout of their own. The team from Taft slowly regained their momentum following a series of attacks from Jyne Soreño, permitting her team to hit the 20-point mark of the set. A long fought rally was ended by a KC Cepada error, 21-14, causing the Lady Red Warriors to take a timeout. Cepada quickly redeemed herself after scoring a point after the break. A successful challenge by La Salle was immediately negated afterward as the opposing team simultaneously countered with a successful first-touch challenge. The Lady Spikers cruised their way after Soreño, Dela Cruz, and Gagate scored crucial points for La Salle as they took the first set, 25-17. 

Securing the lead 

After not being featured in any second-round matches, Malaluan started the second set for the Green and White. In the frame, neither team managed to create any separation as five deadlocks occurred before UE managed to enter the first technical timeout of the set with a slight one-point lead, 8-7. After a string of UE errors, DLSU managed to take a three-point lead courtesy of Dela Cruz’s midair adjustment and Malaluan’s down-the-line attack, 11-8, to call off a 4-0 run.

In the action that ensued, UE struggled with errors as DLSU began to slowly pull away. After a chance ball reached La Salle’s court, Provido finished off a sliding attack to send the second set to its second technical timeout, 16-11. The Red Warriors continued to gift the Green and White with points, as errors continued to plague the side from Recto. After Cepada sent her attack wide, the hitters from Taft managed to go up by six, 21-15. With DLSU nearing their second-set win, it was the duo of Malaluan and Canino who managed to take the frame for the Lady Spikers. The former put DLSU at set point before the Lady Spikers made the final blow with a scorching hit behind the UE backline, 25-20.

Dominant Display or Display of Dominance

Even when the Lady Spikers already secured a shoo-in the Final Four before entering today’s match, DLSU Assistant Coach Noel Orcullo shared that he consistently reminds the team that it’s too early to relax, “’Yun din naman ‘yung sinabi namin na mindset sa kanila before this game na ‘yung UE wala nang mawawala sa kanila, hindi tayo pa pwedeng mag-relax,”

(That’s the mindset we were instilling in them prior to the UE game; they have nothing to lose, we can’t relax yet.)

With their Final Four match date still in question due to the possibility of a play-in game being held on Wednesday, longtime deputy of DLSU Ramil De Jesus asserts that their side will be ready for the Final Four regardless, “Sinabi lang namin paghandaan ‘yung dadating na semis kaya kailangan all out tayo ngayong last game natin.”

(We just said that we’ll prepare for the upcoming semi, that’s why we had to go all out in our last game.)

This victory marks the Lady Spikers’ 13th win in UAAP Season 85. With DLSU standing securely at first seed with a twice-to-beat advantage, a tight race for third place between the AdU Soaring Falcons and the UST Golden Tigresses—who dealt La Salle their sole loss in the campaign—leaves the Lady Spikers’ Final Four opponent to be decided by AdU and UST’s games to be played tomorrow, April 30, or by a tiebreaker match to be scheduled at a later date. 

The Scores: 

DLSU 3 – Canino 13, Dela Cruz 8, Gagate 6, Malaluan 6, Provido 5, Sharma 3, Laput 3, Soreño 2, Alba 1

UE 0 – Cepada 16, Bangayan 10, Lana 9, Nogales 5, Pelaga 2

Set Scores: 25-17, 25-20, 25-17

Diego Manzano

By Diego Manzano

Sancho Ramos

By Sancho Ramos

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