Despite losing the first set, the Ateneo Lady Eagles stormed back to win the next three against the NU Lady Bulldogs to claim their sixth straight victory in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
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Lady Eagles stunned by NU in the opening set
The Lady Eagles held a 17-13 late in the first set before the Lady Bulldogs levelled the count at 17. A close fight ensued until NU barged through with a 3-1 run from 21-all. A cut shot by Gelina Luceno that landed in Ateneo’s zone six brought the F. Jhocson crew to set point but a service error by Ivy Lacsina kept the Lady Eagles in the set. Audrey Paran closed the set at 25-23 with a successful spike off a Joni Chavez back set. Ateneo committed 13 errors in the set as compared to NU’s nine.
Ateneo grabs the next three sets
From a 2-2 tie in the second set, the Lady Eagles stormed to a 6-2 run and never looked back. The lead grew to as much as 11 points, 22-11, and a Samonte spike that went through the NU blockers brought Oliver Almadro’s squad to set point. A 1-2 attack by Deanna Wong ended set two at 25-17 for Ateneo. The Lady Eagles had a 12-8 advantage in attacks and had five errors less than NU’s ten.
The Lady Eagles had a 20-15 advantage in set three but the Lady Bulldogs fought back to trim the lead to one, 23-22. An off-target attack by Lacsina brought Ateneo to set point but Robles took one mark back. But Maddie Madayag continued her success with the running spike by converting the attack that closed the set for the Lady Eagles at 25-23.
Ateneo possessed a 15-11 lead in the fourth set before NU scored three unanswered points to trim the gap to one, 15-14. However, the Lady Eagles closed the set and the match with a 10-3 run led by Bea De Leon. Luceno’s net touch infraction handed match point to the Lady Eagles while Wong clinched another victory for the Katipunan unit with a 1-2 attack.
Individual and team stats
Madayag is named Player of the Game with ten attacks from just 15 tries, three blocks, and four aces. De Leon added 13 while Gaston and Kat Tolentino chipped in ten points apiece. Samonte made seven while Wong supported with two markers to go with 29 sets and 20 excellent digs. Kim Gequillana contributed with 16 digs and 11 receptions.
Meanwhile, Robles paced the Lady Bulldogs with 18 points and 21 receptions while Lacsina tallied 11 markers. Paran, Luceno, and Doria had nine, eight, and six markers, respectively. Chavez added two markers and 22 excellent sets while service specialists Kly Orillaneda and Bingle Landicho scored one apiece. Libero Jennifer Nierva had 29 excellent digs and 30 receptions.
NU committed 39 errors as compared to Ateneo’s 26. The Lady Eagles had the edge in attack points 45-40 while the Lady Bulldogs had a slim advantage in kill blocks, 10-8. Both teams had six service aces.