UAAP VOLLEYBALL: DLSU makes 10th straight Finals appearance

Mark Escarlote on Apr 22, 2018 05:35 PM
UAAP VOLLEYBALL: DLSU makes 10th straight Finals appearance
Grand slam-seeking De La Salle University advanced to its 10th straight Finals stint.

De La Salle University’s journey for a third grand slam is now just a couple of wins away.

The defending champion Lady Spikers swept their way into their 10th straight Finals appearance after a quick work of National University, 27-25, 25-22, 25-11, Sunday in the 80th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament Final Four at the MOA Arena.

Graduating hitter Kim Kianna Dy, Tin Tiamzon and Des Cheng waxed-hot all game long to lead DLSU to a best-of-three showdown against Far Eastern University - the first matchup between the two proud schools since Season 71 when the Lady Spikers dethroned the Lady Tamaraws.

DLSU showed its composure, rallying from five points down in the first set before dismantling NU in the next two. 

“Well kasi sabi ko nga sa mga players, ‘wag nating bigyan ng chance na makakuha ng kumpyansa ng NU kasi pag nakuha nila ang first set, mahirap ang pagdadaanan natin,” said head coach Ramil de Jesus. “Medyo malayo nga yung first set, ginapang lang ng team hanggang sa abutan nila ng end game. After noon, bumitaw-bitaw na yung NU.”

Game 1 of the Finals is on April 28 at the Big Dome.

Dy finished with 17 points including 15 from attacks, Tiamzon had 11 while skipper Majoy Baron and Cheng had nine and eight markers, respectively, for the Lady Spikers, who could add another three-peat after their couple of grand slams in Seasons 66 to 68 and in Seasons 73 to 75.   

Outgoing libero Dawn Macandili had 23 digs and 10 excellent receptions while setter Michelle Cobb dished out 25 excellent sets and seven digs.  

The Taft-based squad started out flat as the Lady Bulldogs held a 12-7 lead. DLSU rallied to tie it at 18 but another scoring spurt by NU led by graduating ace 6-foot-5 Jaja Santiago pushed the Lady Bulldogs’ lead to 23-21.

Santiago broke a 23-23 deadlock with a hit to move at set point but a cross by Arriane Layug sparked the closing barrage of DLSU capped by an ace by Cheng.

The Lady Spikers controlled the next two sets and even held a 19-9 advantage in the third frame to highlight their domination of the Lady Bulldogs, who started the season with a 6-1 first round elimination win-loss card before falling to a 1-6 struggle in the next round.    

Santiago was the only Lady Bulldog in double figures with 17 points while setter Jasmine Nabor tallied 17 excellent sets and eight markers.

 

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