Far Eastern University survived an upset scare after outlasting University of the East, 25-15, 16-25, 12-25, 25-22, 17-15, Saturday in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament at the MOA Arena.
Jerrili Malabanan hammered the clutch back-to-back hits to tow the Lady Tams, who played without injured Lycha Ebon (knee), to their sixth win in nine games and second straight five-set victory.
“Yun naman ang hinahanap namingsa dulo, (ang mag-deliver) ang mga veterans,” said FEU coach George Pascua, whose squad tied University of Sto. Tomas and three-time defending champion De La Salle University.
Third year opposite hitter Ivana Agudo stepped up big time to fill in the scoring void left by Ebon, scoring 12 points with all but one coming off attacks while Malabanan had 11 markers with 17 digs for FEU. Celine Domingo and Heather Guino-o added 11 markers each for the Morayta-based squad.
The Lady Tamaraws created a 14-11 separation in the fifth frame only to see the Lady Warriors fightback and tie force a deuce after Zilfa Olarve landed back-to-back aces. Judith Abil put UE at match point with a through the block hit but Seth Rodriguez was called for a net touch in the next place for another deuce.
Malaban then took matters on her own hands to save the Lady Tams.
The Lady Warriors fell to 2-7 slate.
Mean Mendrez posted a personal season-best 22 points with 21 coming off kills while Abil had 16 markers, 20 excellent receptions and 16 digs in a lost cause for UE. Olarve had 12 points,four on the service line, while skipper Roselle Baliton scored 11 for the Lady Warriors, who smashed 52 spike points coming off setter Laizah Bendong's 42 excellent sets.
Veteran libero Kath Arado had 32 digs and 20 excellent receptions for the Lady Warriors.
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