UAAP Season 81: Lady Eagles end first round on top
Mark Escarlote on Mar 16, 2019 04:10 PM
Ateneo de Manila survived the tough challenge shown by rookie-laden National University.
Ateneo de Manila University shook off an error-filled opening set and the gallant stand of rookie-laden National University to carve out a 23-25, 25-17, 25-23, 25-17, win to end the first round of the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament in a winning note Saturday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Veteran Bea De Leon carried the Lady Eagles in the dangerous midway mark of the fourth set as Ateneo used its experience and grace under pressure to extend its winning run to six for a 6-1 win-loss slate at the top spot.
“The first round was really tough for us,” said Ateneo coach Oliver Almadro. "I told my players that the second round will be tougher."
Maddie Madayag led the Lady Eagles with 17 points off 10 attacks, four aces and three kill blocks but it was De Leon who stopped the Lady Bulldogs on their tracks in NU’s comeback attempt.
De Leon scored three straight points in Ateneo's 5-0 spurt to put the Lady Eagles up, 20-14, after the Lady Bulldogs cut their 15-11 deficit to only one point, 15-14.
The graduating middle blocker finished with 13 points highlighted by four kill blocks while Ponggay Gaston and Kat Tolentino added 10 markers each for Ateneo, which had 26 errors, half coming in the openin set alone. Deanna Wong tallied 29 excellent sets and 20 digs for the Lady Eagles.
Ateneo staved off NU’s furious rally in the closing stretch of the third set after the Lady Bulldogs breathed down the Lady Eagles’ necks, 24-23, off a Princess Robles crosscourt hit. Madayag put the frame away with a running attack to take a 2-1 lead.
The Lady Eagles committed 13 errors in the opening set as Ateneo squandered a 17-13 lead, allowing NU to mount a rally to take an 18-17 advantage. The Lady Bulldogs recovered from a 20-21 deficit with a 5-1 counterattack to move at set point.
Ivy Lacsin committed a service error before Audrey Paran put the set away with a hit.
Ateneo bounced back from an error-filled opening set with a strong showing to start the second frame, building a 22-11 advantage to dictate the tempo of the frame and tie the match at 1-1. The Lady Eagles limited their errors to only five in the set.
NU dropped to 2-5 slate.
Rookie Robles stood her ground against Ateneo, scoring 18 points anchored on 15 attacks and added 21 excellent receptions in a lost cause for the Lady Bulldogs, who were also plagued with 39 errors. Lacsina had 11 markers, Audrey Paran got nine points while rookie libero Jennifer Nierva registered 30 excellent receptions and 29 digs for NU.
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