Lady Maroons tame Tigresses for 4-0 slate

Mark Escarlote on Feb 19, 2017 04:22 PM
Lady Maroons tame Tigresses for 4-0 slate
University of the Philippines shackles University of Sto. Tomas for the fifth time in a row in their UAAP head-to-head.

University of the Philippines kept its clean sheet intact and strengthened its hold of the lead but not after yielding a set for the first time this season.

The Lady Maroons were unstoppable for the fourth straight game as UP continued with its romp adding University of Sto. Tomas to its growing list of victims Sunday with a 25-22, 25-22, 29-31, 25-19 win in the 79th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.

The Diliman-based squad improved its record to 4-0 – its best start in recent memory.  

Behind the huge UP crowd that filled the arena, the Lady Maroons played an inspired game with veterans Kathy Bersola and Nicole Tiamzon and the sophomore duo of Diana Carlos and Isa Molde providing the firepower especially down the closing stretch to hand UST its fifth loss in a row in their league head-to-head.

Carlos hammered 16 kills in her total of 18 points while Molde and Tiamzon scored 14 and 13 markers, respectively, for UP, which took advantage of UST's poor service reception to slice 15 aces. Marian Buitre and Aeisha Gannaban scored seven each while Bersola had four points including three from the service line.     

"Maturity talaga ang keyword kasi kung walang maturity, yung recovery nila hindi agad-agad makakabawi," said UP assistant coach Rald Ricafort.

"Ang pinakaimportante pa rin ang panalo sa dulo. Aanhin naman namin ang walang nada-drop (na set) kung hindi namin matutulu'y-tuloy ang momentum from La Salle's game," added Ricafort, who was tasked by head coach Jerry Yee to attend the post-game interview following the mentor's superstitious belief that it brings good fortune to the squad.    

Down 18-22 in the third set, the Lady Maroons kept its composure to tie the frame a 23 after an ace by Marian Buitre. Carlos scored on a kill block to put UP on top 24-23 but Buitre overcooked her serve on the next play for 24-all.

UST’s Caitlyn Viray’s attack went out but Carlos threw a long service for a tie at 25. Sisi Rondina soared high for a kill before Molde answered with an off the block attack and an ace to give UP a 27-26 advantage.

The set was again even at 27 before Tiamzon broke it with a missile to the backline. Rondina tied the frame at 28.

EJ Laure put UST back on top, 29-28, with a sharp spike before UP called time but Rondina committed a service error. Laure brought the Tigresses at set point again, 30-29, before UP surrendered the frame with Molde’s kill flying wide.       

UP in the fourth set erased an early 3-6 deficit with a huge rally to take a 16-10 lead. The Lady Maroons widened it to 21-15 but the Tigresses closed the gap to 21-18 from a thundering attack by Rondina before UP blasted a final push capped by an ace by Molde to walk away with the win.  

The Lady Maroons were the tougher squad in the first two sets breaking a 22-22 deadlock on both frames to take a 2-0 match lead.   

The Tigresses slid back to 1-3 slate despite the efforts of Rondina and Laure. Laure scored 18 points while Rondina and Chlodia Cortez chipped in 12 markers each for the Espana-based squad.




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