UAAP Season 81: Lady Maroons survive opening day scare
Mark Escarlote on Feb 16, 2019 04:35 PM
University of the Philippines survived a scary opening day match in a five-set win over University of the East.
University of the Philippines weathered University of the East’s upset scare with a hard-earned, 25-12, 22-25, 23-25, 25-19, 15-12, opening day win Saturday in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
The veteran duo of Isa Molde and Tots Carlos delivered the goods for the Lady Maroons, who are considered as one of the top contenders after winning two pre-season titles, in the fifth set to silence the feisty Lady Warriors.
"They are very good five sets. We played as a team that is why we we're able to get the last two sets. As I said before nothing comes easy. We win but we struggle some times," said UP head coach Godfrey Okumu. "The sets we won we won with ease but the ones we lost, we lost terribly. I hope we put this behind us and move forward to our next game."
Molde posted 23 points off 19 kills, two aces and two kill blocks to pace the Dilima-based squad. The Season 78 rookie of the year added 10 excellent receptions for the Lady Maroons. Carlos chipped in 17 markers icluding 15 off spikes while Justine Dorog added 12 points for UP, which landed 61 spikes behind setter Ayel Estranero's 44 excellent sets.
The Lady Maroons recovered from a 1-2 match deficit to force a deciding frame but found the Lady Warriors a tough nut to crack. UP went up 13-9 before UE answered with straight points.
Dorog put the Lady Maroons at match point , Judith Abil saved a point for the Lady Warriors before Jessma Ramos sealed the win for UP with a strong swipe off UE's block.
The Lady Maroons survived a scare in the fourth set, staving off the Lady Warriors’ charge from a nine-point deficit, 1-10. UE chopped its deficit to 14-16 behind Judith Abil and Me-Anne Mendrez’s heroics but UP answered with a scorching rally to force a deciding frame.
Judith Abil led the Lady Warriors’ fightback in the third set after trailing, 13-19. The graduating hitter Abil tied the frame at 21.
Both squads traded points in the next plays before Mariella Gabarda pushed UE at set point. The Lady Warriors stole the frame after Marist Layug’s soft shot went out.
Abil got 20 points and 21 excellent receptions while Mendrez had eight markers for UE. Prized libero Kath Arado tallied 32 digs and 18 receives in a lost cause.
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