UAAP: DLSU Lady Spikers soar past AdU Lady Falcons in four-set showdown despite Soreño’s early-game exit due to an injury

After last game’s eye-opening loss, the DLSU Lady Spikers sought vengeance at the expense of the AdU Lady Falcons in four sets, 17-25, 25-19, 25-11, 25-22, keeping their chance of landing a twice-to-beat advantage alive in Round Two of the UAAP Season 86 Women’s Volleyball Tournament earlier today, April 17, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Leading the Lady Spikers to victory was Shevana Laput, who dominated the scoreboards with 24 points, 22 attacks, and two blocks. This was echoed by Thea Gagate, who chipped in in the net defense and offense with nine attacks and three blocks.

Despite the four-set loss, it was Jen Villegas for the Lady Falcons who led the scoring with 13 attacks, two blocks, and a service ace.

A painful setback

The game’s opening set started off strongly with a Gagate attack from behind the net, which was closely followed by a Laput attack, also quick to enter the scene—targeting Adamson’s loose backrow. Errors from the opponent played to the Lady Spikers’ advantage, with the game now at 5-2. Laput’s strong attacks shot from the net like lasers, hunting down the hungry falcons. However, they quickly recovered and Adamson got their first lead of the game, 8-7, going into a technical timeout. After the huddle, the team seemed to get their heads back in the game, Team Captain Julia Coronel with a backset. Errors were exchanged from both sides of the net, which took a toll on each team’s chances of survival. 

A Laput attack brought the game to a 16-15, calling for the team to gather. After which, Jyne Soreño suffered an unfortunate injury after she collided with libero Lyka De Leon. Soreño was seen clutching onto her shoulder, her face showing much discomfort. In tears, she was escorted back into the locker room shortly after. Losing another teammate to an injury seemed to damage the morale of the Lady Spikers, as they could not earn more markers to outplay the opponent. Two more timeouts later, still Angel Canino-less DLSU failed to overthrow the Lady Falcons in the opening set, 25-17.

Fighting back

It looked like the Lady Spikers were startled at the start of the second set when two points were conceded through errors, 3-1. However, their tall statures remained an intimidating factor as the blue shirts gave away errors after being blocked in their previous attempts to give the Taft-based squad the lead going into the first technical timeout, 8-6.

After the timeout, Villegas could muster the Soaring Falcons back to level footing with the Lady Spikers scoring two, 10-all. However, Team Captain Coronel managed to get her teammates involved as Gagate, Laput, and Maicah Larroza punished the Adamson defense to build a four-point lead, 16-12. Adamson’s Villegas continued to prevent La Salle from pulling away, scoring three markers when it looked like the Green-and-White were going on a run, 19-16. But, the Lady Spikers showed their fighting spirit as they once again found gaps in the Adamson floor defense to allow Gagate and Laput to keep the ball within the lines to seal the set, 25-19.

Stacking points

The Lady Spikers were intent on picking up where they left off, keeping the momentum they rekindled in the second set. A down-the-line attack by Laput welcomed the movement of the scores for her team. With the ball on the side of DLSU, Coronel was hanging around the service line for consecutive turns. The next few minutes was a Malaluan rampage as she earned five-straight markers, including a service ace. Adamson lags seven points behind, with the game now at 8-1.

Gagate remarkably showcased her prowess during this set with her strong attacks and valuable blocks that favored the Lady Spikers. Amie Provido also wowed the crowd with her witty antics, dropping the ball to the other side at the perfect time. The digits were slow on the side of the Lady Falcons as they were struggling to reach double digits. The Green-and-White was indeed feeling it, unleashing the boost they needed in set one. The Lasallians were already at 23 points when AdU earned their first 10 points of the set. Despite missing a team member, the Lady Spikers uplifted themselves, completely owning the third set, 25-11.

Closing it out

Following a dominant third set, the Lady Spikers trailed early in the fourth set leading Coach Ramil De Jesus to call an early timeout, 3-1. His timeout worked to fruition as La Salle looked more lively as their defense blocked Adamson’s attacks and caused errors among the blue shirts, 8-6. With a narrow lead, Laput was the target for La Salle’s tactics, scoring three on two attacks to build a three-point lead, 16-13. 

After the second technical timeout, La Salle inched closer to match point as a collective effort by the Taft Towers of Laput, Malaluan, and Provido in attack built their lead to four, 22-18. However, a late Adamson error and proficiency in attack by Laput and Malaluan won the set and the game for the Lady Spikers, 25-22.

After the game, Assistant Coach Noel Orcullo stated the team’s lack of initiative turned into a first-set loss, but still remains positive after the comeback win, Actually nung first set, sobrang tentative ng galaw nila. Nagaantay lang at walang gustong mag-lead so ayun. Kapag walang nagle-lead panget yung galaw, parang hindi sila magkakilala, so buti na lang nanalo, nakuha yung second (set) at nagtuloy-tuloy. So a win is a win talaga.” 

(Actually during the first set, their movements were really tentative. They were just waiting and no one wanted to lead. If no one wants to lead, their movements are not the best, and it will seem like they don’t know each other, so it’s a good thing we still won, we got the second (set) and it carried on. So, in the end, a win is still a win.)

Following this victory, the Lady Spikers hold a 10-2 record, and they hope to carry on their momentum as they take on the ADMU Blue Eagles on Sunday, April 21, at 4 pm at the same venue.

The Scores:

DLSU 3 – Laput 24, Gagate 12, Malaluan 8, Provido 8, Larroza 5, Coronel 5, Soreño 1

AdU 1 – Villegas 16, Juegos 20, Jamili 11, Nuique 9, Lalongisip 6, Alcantara 2, Adolfo 1, Bascon 0, Almonte 0

Set Scores: 17-25, 25-19, 25-11, 25-22

Jamie Alberto

By Jamie Alberto

Daniel Quiroga

By Daniel Quiroga

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