DE LA SALLE University bounced back strong at the expense of also-ran University of the Philippines (UP), 25-15, 25-16, 25-16, to keep its hold of the top spot in University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 85 women’s volleyball action Sunday at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.
The Lady Spikers improved to 10-1 won-lost while dealing the Fighting Maroons their eight loss for a 1-10 record.
With National University (NU) beating Far Eastern University (FEU) earlier Sunday, the Lady Spikers are now assured of a Final Four slot. Sunday’s results also officially eliminated Ateneo (4-7) from the semifinals race.
University of Santo Tomas (UST) broke De La Salle’s winning streak at nine matches this season and against the Lady Maroons, the Lady Spikers were a team on fire.
“That loss to UST taught the team how to rise from a loss,” De La Salle assistant coach Noel Orcullo said. “After Holy Week, I told the girls to make a big bounce back, and they did.”
The first two sets were a breeze but De La Salle needed some help from UP to complete the straight-set win.
De La Salle held a 19-15 lead when UP committed three errors while Jyne Soreño and Amie Provido connected to wrap up the match in 87 minutes.
Angel Canino led the Lady Spikers anew with 17 points on 13-of-26 attacks, two blocks and two aces, while Thea Gagate provided 11 points.
Six-foot-one opposite spiker Shevana Laput start for De La Salle and finished with nine points. Fifi Sharma and Jolina Dela Cruz added six points apiece.
Steph Bustrillo paced the Fighting Maroons with 10 points while Niña Ytang chipped in nine points.
Reigning champion NU, meanwhile, pushed FEU to the brink of elimination from the Final Four, 25-21, 25-14, 25-23.
The Bulldogs made it an NU sweep after they beat the Tamaraws, 28-26, 25-21, 26-28, 25-23.
The Lady Bulldogs improved to 8-3 for a share of second place with the Adamson University Lady Falcons and Tigresses.
The Lady Tamaraws slid to 5-6.
Alyssa Solomon uncorked 18 points while reigning MVP Mhicaela Belen and Vange Alinsug added in 14 and 12 points, respectively, for NU. Chenie Tagaod and Jovs Fernandez led FEU with seven points apiece while Mitzi Panangin and Alyzza Devosora had six and five points, respectively.