SSL: Lady Spikers start preseason strong with three-set victory over UPHSD

Fresh from their title-winning UAAP Season 85 stint, the DLSU Lady Spikers marked their first win in the Shakey’s Super League National Invitationals after sweeping the UPHSD Lady Altas, 25-11, 25-17, 25-12, earlier today, July 29, at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan. 

Leading her team to victory, Shevana Laput bagged the Player of the Game accolade with nine points. Supporting her was the middle blocker duo of Thea Gagate and Amie Provido with 12 tallied points each. Alleiah Malaluan also chipped in a double-digit scoring effort with 11 points. 

Facing the collegiate volleyball champs, Mary Dapol led the way for the Lady Altas, scoring six of her eight points through a spike and two service aces. Meanwhile, Charmaine Ocado followed up with five points of her own and Charisse Enrico scored all four of her points from service aces.

A commanding start 

The Lady Spikers opened the game by conceding a point to Perpetual, but they immediately responded with a collective effort to come up with 10 straight points in emphatic fashion, 10-1. After giving up a second point to the Lady Altas, the Lady Spikers grabbed control of the game with a six-point run that saw Malaluan chipping in two of her own to put the scoreline at 16-2, signaling the second technical timeout of the first set.

However, the Lady Spikers were unable to continue cruising through the opposition in the remainder of the set. They gifted away numerous errors to Perpetual but held on to their 14-point buffer, 24-10. La Salle was able to ease any worries behind the performance of Laput, who finished the first set strong by taking the last three points, 25-11.

Keeping the momentum 

After a quick first set, the Green and White started off the second set with nip-and-tuck exchanges, as Ocado’s drop ball gave Perpetual a comfortable lead, 4-3. This was followed by a block point from Provido and an explosive cross-court attack from Malaluan—giving DLSU the lead, 6-5. A crucial attack error from the Lady Altas gave La Salle a two-point advantage heading into the first technical timeout of the second set, 8-6. 

Coming off the break, a drop ball from Shaila Omipon cut down the Taft-based team’s lead to one, 8-7. However, Gagate’s block point topped off a 4-0 run by La Salle to give them a comfortable lead, 11-7. To their advantage, another attack error from the Lady Altas extended the lead Green and White with a seven-point margin as they entered the second technical timeout, 16-9. 

Toward the end of the second set, UPHSD’s Dapol broke La Salle’s run by scoring a cross-court attack, 18-10. This was echoed by her teammate Cordeo, who managed to break through the Lady Spikers’ net defense, 20-12. After consecutive reception errors from La Salle, coach Noel Orcullo decided to bring in Julyana Tolentino and Jess Ordiales. Finally recovering from their errors, Gagate’s quick attack and Malaluan’s down-the-line attack ended the second set, 25-17.

Finishing strong

After proving their championship mettle in the opening two frames, the Lady Spikers looked to finish the game in the third. Maicah Larroza was substituted into the game after riding the bench for the first two sets and immediately made an impact as she scored to keep La Salle up early into the eventual final set, 2-1. The Taft-based squad followed up on her effort as Gagate scored two of her own before a Lady Altas error signaled the first technical timeout with the score, 8-1. 

Immediately after, Dapol put a stop to the Lady Spikers’ run to inspire a four point run for her team, 8-5. But, the Green and White found their composure to hold their lead, 16-8, before another technical timeout.

The Lady Spikers hammered down their business after the break as Provido immediately scored through a service ace, 17-8. The late game substitutes also proved to be decisive as Katrina Del Castillo scored four of her own, including the game winning-point, 25-12.

After the game, Orcullo shared the advice he communicated to the Lady Spikers in preparation for this conference, “Sinasabi ko palagi sa kanila na dapat palaging nirerespeto ang kalaban”. 

(I always tell the team that we always have to respect our opponent no matter what.) 

The Lady Spikers look to bag their second win of the Shakey’s Super League National Invitationals as they face off against the University of Southern Philippines Foundation at 9 am on August 1 at the same venue. 

The Scores:

DLSU 3 – Gagate 12, Provido 12, Malaluan 11, Laput 10, Coronel 6, Larroza 6, Soreño 4, Del Castillo 4, De Leon 0, Ordiales 0, Tolentino 0

UPHSD – Dapol 8, Ocado 5, Omipon 4, Enrico 4, Aldea 2, Alemeniana 1, Uy 1, Bedana 0, Ariola 0, Villar 0, Andal 0, Sapin 0, Lozano 0 

Set Scores: 25-11, 25-17, 25-12

Tana Melgar

By Tana Melgar

Daniel Quiroga

By Daniel Quiroga

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