Reaction: Lady Spikers clinch twice-to-beat playoff

It was not the best of performances for the De La Salle University Lady Spikers. They didn’t do bad either. Instead, they did just enough to complete a Season 81 sweep against the UE Lady Warriors in straight sets. Here are some factors that allowed them to clinch at least a playoff of a twice-to-beat advantage.

Mendrez not in action

The Lady Warriors were handicapped by Mary Anne Mendrez’ absence. The outside hitter did not suit up due to sickness and she could have had a heyday against La Salle. Mendrez is one of the best attackers to tool the block. She could have used the Lady Spikers’ aggressiveness on net defense to score off deflections. She could have changed the complexion of the game especially in the third set.

Lady Spikers limited their errors

It’s challenging to defeat a squad that committed just one unforced error in a set. That’s what De La Salle achieved in set three after tallying 14 in the first two. It allowed the squad of Coach Ramil de Jesus to be in cruise control once they took the lead coming into the second technical timeout. Playing averages, five errors a set shows control especially when you have an edge with the opponent.

Middle game is working

Aduke Ogunsanya and Des Clemente combined for 20 points in their recent victory over the Ateneo Lady Eagles. This time, they had 18 total while the middle blocker from Iloilo was named Game MVP. Michelle Cobb is involving her quickers more to maintain balance in offense. Likewise, Clemente has adjusted to the style and pace of De La Salle volleyball. That confidence is crucial coming into the Final Four.

Spiking as one

Jolina Dela Cruz made ten, Tin Tiamzon tallied nine, and Desiree Cheng scored eight. That variety kept UE on their toes in net defense. The Lady Spikers were also efficient in their attacking. Tiamzon needed only 24 attempts to tally nine points while Dela Cruz had just 29 tries to get the same amount of points. In contrast, Judith Abil needed 45 attempts to score 16.

Can you dig this?

CJ Saga has big shoes to fill after Dawn Macandili left Taft. She still gets the job done even though she is not at par with Miss Everywhere’s talent. Saga had 17 excellent digs out of 26 attempts to anchor La Salle’s floor defense. The Lady Spikers connected on 57 digs, 19 more than UE’s total. The ladies in green were able to anticipate the Lady Warriors’ attacks, limiting their chances to score.

What now?

The Lady Spikers can clinch an outright twice-to beat advantage by defeating the FEU Lady Tamaraws. Their Season 80 Finals antagonists remain dangerous despite Lycha Ebon’s injury. A victory for La Salle awards them the second seed and a possible claim on the top spot. On the other hand, a defeat forces a playoff with the UST Goldent Tigresses. Meanwhile, UE just wants to finish the season with a win to send off their graduating players on a positive note.