Reaction: Lady Tamaraws played well when it mattered most

The FEU Lady Tamaraws must have seen their male counterparts defeat the Ateneo Blue Spikers to clinch a Finals berth. That must have given them the inspiration to defeat the Lady Eagles in five sets at the SM Mall of Asia Arena yesterday.

FEU’s victory erases their five-set defeat against Coach Oliver Almadro’s squad in the first round. Despite winning the first two sets, Ateneo swept the last three for the win. More importantly, the Lady Tamaraws force a winner-take-all showdown on Wednesday.

Winning enough sets

What’s good in volleyball is that you still get the victory after playing three great sets and two bad ones. That’s precisely what happened to the Lady Tamaraws after scoring just ten and 12 points in the first and fourth sets, respectively. The Lady Eagles imposed their will from the service line to force a number of unforced errors in those two sets. They even limited FEU to just one attack point in the opening frame.

But the competitors from Katipunan faltered in the fifth set. They committed costly attack errors from a 7-7 tie while the Lady Tamaraws remained steady in the end game. Come Wednesday, the Lady Eagles should deliver the finishing touches. Otherwise, their season may be over despite being the top seed after the eliminations.

Silent but dangerous

France Ronquillo had a hard time fielding the services of the Ateneo Lady Eagles. However, the put on the points when it mattered most. While fellow rookie Lycha Ebon gained most of the attention this season, Ronquillo has been delivering the goods for Coach George Pascua as well.

Likewise, Heather Guino-o is not flash but effective. She had much success placing her shots through the gaps of the Ateneo defense instead of hitting the ball with power. The Lady Eagles must keep an eye on Guino-o’s variety of hits, especially her soft tips when the Ateneo backliners are playing a bit deep.

Do or die

The Lady Eagles have to gather their composure and remind themselves that they had the momentum coming into the fifth set. Also, FEU won the first two sets against them by just two and three points, respectively. Now, they are staring elimination against last year’s finalists. But a harsh look at this game shows that they have to pack a killer blow if they want to advance to the Finals.