In the Battle of the Birds, the Ateneo Lady Eagles clipped the Adamson Lady Falcons’ wings to take their fifth straight victory in four sets during their UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball first round encounter at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
While the Rogelio Getigan-coached squad mounted a 4-1 lead early in the opening set, the wards of Coach Oliver Almadro dominated the rest of the way by embarking on a 24-4 run. Ponggay Gaston’s attack that went through the Adamson double block ended set one at 25-8 for the Katipunan unit.
The Lady Falcons distanced themselves at the end of the second set courtesy of a drop shot and a service ace from setter MJ Igao. Eli Soyud’s tip to return Bea de Leon’s attack brought Adamson to set point while a cut shot by Chiara Permentilla that landed in Ateneo’s zone four ended the second set at 25-22.
Capitalizing on their net defense and Gaston’s aces, the Lady Eagles soared to an 8-2 lead in the third set and never looked back. Adamson fought to within three, 10-7, before Ateneo responded with a 6-1 run to put the set out of the Lady Falcon’s reach.
Kat Tolentino’s attack that glanced through Bernadette Flora’s hands took the Lady Eagles to set point. The Ateneo opposite spiker won a joust against Permentilla to take set three at 25-16.
It was all Ateneo in the fourth and final frame as Tolentino, De Leon, and Gaston ignited an 8-5 edge that turned into a 16-8 rout. The Lady Eagles finished off the San Marcelino crew with a 8-2 run to take the set and the match at 25-10. Gaston converted the winning point with an attack that was tipped by an Adamson blocker.
De Leon is named Player of the Game with six attack points, four blocks, and four aces. Gaston paced the Lady Eagles with 10 attacks and six aces while Kat Tolentino had 15.
Soyud paced Adamson with 13 while Permentilla and Joy Dacoron had nine apiece. Flora contributed seven while Igao and MJ Perez combined for three. Toni Rose Ponce collected 45 excellent digs and 16 receptions.
The Lady Eagles had a whopping 15-5 lead in aces while having 17 errors less than Adamson’s 35.
The Ateneo Lady Eagles (5-1) will finish the first round against the NU Lady Bulldogs on March 16. Meanwhile, the Adamson Lady Falcons (1-5) will face the UP Lady Maroons on March 17. Both games will be played at Filoil.