UAAP Season 81: Tigresses survive Lady Falcons' scare

Mark Escarlote on Feb 17, 2019 04:37 PM
UAAP Season 81: Tigresses survive Lady Falcons' scare
University of Sto. Tomas defeated Adamson University in five sets to start its campaign in the UAAP Season 81 women's volleyball tournament.

University of Sto. Tomas flirted with disaster before eking out a 25-21, 25-21, 24-26, 24-26, 15-6, win over Adamson University in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament Sunday at the MOA Arena.

The Tigresses opened a five-point lead in the fifth set after yielding the third and fourth frames that forced the decider to set up the tempo before finishing off the hard-fighting Lady Falcons.

“The last three years lagi kaming talo sa first game namin and this is historic for us,” said UST coach Kungfu Reyes of the Tigresses' opening day losing streak under his watch. 

Sisi Rondina and Milena Alessandrini delivered the goods while sophomore Eya Laure lived up to the pre-season hype to help the Espana-based squad, which snapped a seven-year opening day losing slump.

Laure made her presence felt with 17 points of 13 attacks, three kill blocks and an ace while graduating hitter Rondina poured 17 markers and tallied 17 digs to start her final season with the Tigresses, who rained down 50 attacks and landed 11 aces.   

Alessandrini, last year's rookie of year, got 15 points while freshman Kecelyn Galdones had eigt markers for UST.

The Tigresses started the fifth set with a 5-0 lead before breaking the set wide open with a 13-4 advantage as Adamson's confidence crumbled. 

UST started the game firing on all cylinders to grab a 2-0 match lead but allowed the Lady Falcons to mount a comeback. The Tigresses squandered a 19-16 lead in the third set as Adamson blasted a 5-1 counterattack for a 21-20 advantage.  

Adamson moved at set point, 24-21, before Rondina sparked UST's comeback to force a deuce. Eli Soyud took matters on her own hands in the next plays, scoring  the last two points of the Lady Falcons.

Adamson controlled the early goings of the fourth frame and built a 15-6 lead. The Tigresses clawed their way back in the game and overtook Adamson, 23-19. UST moved at match point, 24-21, but a couple of attack errors and Joy Dacoron's back-to-back hits gave the Lady Falcons a 25-24 advantage.

UST yielded the set after getting whistled with a net touch.         

Bernadette Flora paced Adamson with 14 points while Eli Soyud and Chiara Permentilla chipped in with 13 and 12 markers, respectively. Dacoron posted 10 points while rookie setter Nikka Yandoc tallied 34 excellent sets for the Lady Falcons. 

 

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