Lady Eagles top round one with gritty win over Lady Spikers
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Mar 04, 2017 07:07 PM
NO DOUBT ABOUT IT. Michelle Morente was unstoppable as Ateneo edged out archrival DLSU.
Heading into their first rivalry game in the UAAP 79 Women’s Volleyball Tournament, De La Salle University had won all of their last nine sets.
That didn’t seem to matter for Ateneo de Manila University as it took the fight to its archrival on Saturday at the MOA Arena.
On the back of rumbling rallies in the first two sets and then a quick counter in the fourth set, the Lady Eagles got the better of the Lady Spikers, 26-24, 26-24, 21-25, and 25-17 in front of a full house of 17, 132 fans.
Mich Morente was a woman on a mission with 25 points all while spearheading the late-set surges that turned the tides in the favor of Ateneo as well as the fourth set domination that left no doubt in this rivalry game.
Kat Tolentino contributed 18 markers of her own and a total team effort lifted the Lady Eagles atop the leaderboard now at 6-1.
Down 19-23 in the first, Morente just would not Ateneo go down without a fight and fired half of the points in the 7-1 rally that seized the set for them.
The same thing happened in the second as behind, 18-23, it was again Morente who fronted the 8-1 push that seized for her team a 2-0 lead.
Talking about their resilience, Bea De Leon said, “We just kept going, we just kept pushing. With La Salle, you can’t let the score get to you.”
Still, DLSU remained alive and kicking and finally closed out a set in the third.
The Lady Eagles wasted no time in regrouping, however, and blitzed their archrivals in what turned out to be fourth and final set where they led by as much at nine. “It all boiled down to experience and yun yung edge namin kasi mas marami kaming experience compared to their players,” De Leon said.
Jia Morado had 79 excellent sets to edge out rival Kim Fajardo who counted 76 to her name. It wasn’t much, but the three-point difference between the league’s top setters helped Ateneo in its fifth win in a row.
Standing in first-place with the longest active winning streak, the Lady Eagles are keeping their eyes on the prize. “Maganda yung first round na first sa standings, pero sana sa second round and semis, aangat pa yung team,” assistant coach Sherwin Meneses said.
Kianna Dy topped the scoring column for the Lady Spikers with 15 points. Unable to close out the first two sets, however, they saw their three-game winning streak get stopped.
At 5-2, DLSU stands in solo second – pending the result of the matchup on Sunday between NU and University of the Philippines.
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