UAAP: Lady Spikers hunt down Lady Tamaraws in a quick three-set match

Coming from a successful Round One campaign, tallying only one loss, the DLSU Lady Spikers aimed their arrows high and ultimately pierced through the FEU Lady Tamaraws in a sweep, 25-19, 25-21, 25-18, opening Round Two of the UAAP Season 86 Women’s Volleyball Tournament on a high note earlier tonight, March 23, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Leading the Lady Spikers to victory was Team Captain Julia Coronel who dominated the scoreboards with 16 excellent sets and two blocks, followed by the reigning Rookie-MVP, Angel Canino, with 15 points.

Despite the three-set loss, it was Faida Bakanke for the Lady Tamaraws who led the scoring with 13 points and two blocks.

Stumbling start

It was FEU who got the upperhand in the early part of the first set which coincided with the struggling offense of DLSU, capped off with a service error from Coronel which left her team behind, 4-1. The Lady Tamaraws were pesky on their attacks targeting the long end of the court. This was followed by an exchange of plays which was ended by Anne Asis with a solid quick attack play—forcing DLSU to call for a timeout early in the match as they trailed FEU, 7-3. Following this, Shevana Laput committed another service error for DLSU before they headed into the first technical timeout short by three points, 8-5.

Coming off the break, La Salle made their comeback shortly before they headed into the second technical timeout after a solid 5-0 run, 16-13. Last season’s Rookie-MVP Canino spearheaded the offensive momentum of the Lady Spikers which was furthered by a block and an ace by Laput and Thea Gagate, respectively. 

Despite the rocky start, the team from Taft managed to recover quickly as they went on a steady and consistent run in the later half of the set. This gave way to the Lady Spikers who were the first to crack 20 digits. On the other hand, the team from Morayta called for a timeout to plan and hold their opponent back by making a short run, 21-17. After an unsuccessful challenge from FEU, which put La Salle at set point, an unforced error from their side gave the first set to the Lady Spikers, 25-19.

Finding their momentum

After conquering their first set jitters, the Lady Spikers picked themselves up and stepped back on the court for the second set of the match. The first point was decided after a long rally between the two teams, 1-0. The next few plays were composed of echoing service errors from both sides of the court. Amie Provido’s sneaky drop balls earned the digits for her team, also adding a crosscourt attack, 6-5. Lagging by only one point, the Taft-based team was not complacent with how they were performing. Gagate showcased her strength from right behind the net by scoring two consecutive numbers for the Lady Spikers, 9-8. 

Both teams seemingly struggled with defending their sides of the net. Canino was quick enough to spot an empty middle and ultimately targeted this, the Lady Tamaraws taken aback, 15-12. Now with three points in the lead, the Green-and-White saw a small glimmer of hope into taking the second set. Laput made up for her earlier service error with an attack—hyping the crowd up. Baby Jyne Soreño was also in the zone to help out in raising the scoreboards with her calculated attacks from the net. Provido was also seen giving her all into forcefully passing through the blockers of FEU, 19-17. The Lady Spikers played the set point by point, looking more composed than they were during the first set. Canino scored consecutive markers for her team, 21-19, followed by a block attack by Soreño. A crucial attack error from the opponent and a point from Canino concluded the second set, 25-21.

Calling the shots

The gained momentum from the first two sets lingered in the third as Alleiah Malaluan was able to draw first blood, targeting her attack in between zone one and six. The Lady Spikers remained steadfast in this set with their distributed offense among their attackers. Provido and Malaluan showed a gutsy performance with off-the-block hits on top of kills. The team from Taft headed into the first technical timeout with a hefty lead on the third set at 16-9.

FEU was again forced to call for another timeout after a quick attack from Gagate, 19-11. The Lady Spikers also recovered from service errors from the previous sets, with Canino, Malaluan, and Soreño converting an ace each in the third set. Team Captain and playmaker Coronel brought her team to set point after a solid block, 24-18. To finish off the match, a running attack from Provido cruised the Green-and-White to a breezy three-set victory, 25-18.

Hindi pwedeng makampante dahil lahat ng team naka-adjust na,” says Assistant Coach Noel Orcullo when asked how he feels entering the second round of the competition.

(We can’t be complacent since all teams have adjusted already.)

Canino adds that she and her team aims to play wisely and smartly inside the court, mentioning that the game is not always about merely hitting the ball. The reigning Rookie-MVP also revealed how the level of competition is rising in the UAAP after a successful Round One, as the Lady Spikers only earned a single loss. 

“I would say na hindi pa po ako satisfied,” Player of the Game Coronel revealed when asked how she feels about today’s performance—saying that she is also aware of her lapses. Coach Noel wishes Coronel to sustain her momentum and keep improving every game.

(I would say that I still am not satisfied.)

Despite the upcoming break, the Lady Spikers would continue training for their remaining games of the season, expressing how they respect each team that they would be facing. The defending champions are set to face the UP Fighting Maroons on April 4, at 2 pm at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

The Scores:

DLSU 3 –  Canino 15, Gagate 10, Malaluan 8, Soreno 7, Provido 7, Laput 4, Coronel 2

FEU 0 – Bakanke 13, Petallo 13, J. Asis, 6, Tagaod 4, A. Asis 1, Ubaldo 0, Papa 0, Panangin 0, Alberto 0, Monares 0

Set Scores: 25-19, 25-21, 25-18

Jamie Alberto

By Jamie Alberto

Ysa Bakabak

By Ysa Bakabak

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