Lady Bulldogs survive Lady Warriors' upset scare
Mark Escarlote on Feb 04, 2017 04:17 PM
National University survives an upset scare from University of the East.
National University shrugged off a rusty start to escape an upset attempt by the feisty University of the East, 18-25, 25-20, 25-23, 25-13, Saturday to open the 79th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the Big Dome.
The Lady Bulldogs fell to an early hole with the Lady Warriors pulling off a surprise that saw NU trail by as much as eight in the opening frame .
"Hindi kami nahirapan sa laro nila (UE) mas nahirapan kami sa kakaisip ng error namin," said Lady Bulldogs coach Roger Gorayeb, who pointed out their atrocious 27-error outing.
"We can't play like this kung ang goal namin ay maglaro sa Finals," he added.
Towering Jaja Santiago struggled to find her rhythm in the first set before slowly heating up to smoke UE, which won the season’s opening frame and its fourth set win in a row since sweeping Adamson University to close Season 78.
Santiago finished with 21 points anchored on 14 attacks, four kill blocks and three aces for NU. Jorelle Singh added 12 markers while Fil-Japanese rookie Risa Sato and Aiko Urdas had 11 each for the Lady Bulldogs, who pounded 53 spikes.
With veterans 6-foot-5 Santiago and Singh leading the way, the NU recovered in the second set by building an early gap to stave off the repeated rally of the Lady Warriors.
The Lady Bulldogs again found themselves in trouble in the third frame after trailing 16-19. A huge 9-1 rally by NU turned the tables around to steal the frame.
With NU already in control, the Lady Bulldogs buried the Lady Warriors by 10 points, 22-12, in the fourth frame to survive an upset scare.
UE, which led 19-11 in the first set, dropped its ninth straight defeat against NU since winning in five sets over the Lady Bulldogs in Season 74 second round of eliminations. It was UE’s last win before falling to a 58-game losing streak that was snapped last year in the Lady Warriors’ last match in Season 78.
Skipper Shaya Adorador poured in 21 points, Mary Anne Mendrez got 11 while Judith Abil finished with 10 for the Lady Warriors.
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