UAAP Season 81: Tigresses remain on track for a semis seat

Mark Escarlote on Apr 06, 2019 03:49 PM
UAAP Season 81: Tigresses remain on track for a semis seat
University of Sto. Tomas swept University of the East to remain on right track for a semifinals seat.

University of Sto. Tomas found another weapon in Ysa Jimenez as the rookie played an inspired game to lift the Tigresses past University of the East, 25-20, 25-20, 25-16, Saturday in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament at the Big Dome.

Jimenez gave the much needed support on offense to back consistent point-producers veteran Sisi Rondina and rookie Eya Laure as UST improved to a 7-4 slate at the third spot behind league-leading Ateneo de Manila University (9-1) and three-time defending champion De La Salle University (7-3).

Laure led the Tigresses with 14 points with 12 coming off attacks while adding 13 digs and eight excellent receptions. Rondina got 11 markers built on nine spikes, an ace and a kill block while Jimenez played her best game of the season with 10 points off six attacks, three aces and a kill block for UST.  

Kecelyn Galdones scored eight points while Mafe Galanza tallied 26 excellent sets that helped the Tigresses nail 38 spike points.

"Ang motivation namin sa team namin ay 'we're ready for battle' sino man ang katapat namin. Si UE kasi may threat. Any moment na magbigyan mo lang ng kaunting momentum para sa kanila kakainin ka ng buhay ni UE. Ina-analyze nga namin sa past few games nila nakailan silang five sets, kung natapos nila ng maayos yun baka sila pa ang nasa itaas," said Tigresses coach Kungfu Reyes, whose squad completed its elims sweep of the Lady Warriors. "Ni-ready naman namin kung paano kami ka-counter sa kanila, paano namin sila aatakehin, sinong target kapag nasa likod sila. Those things ang pina-polish namin during practices."  

The Espana-based squad officially eliminated the Lady Warriors in the semis race.

The Tigresses erased an early 5-9 deficit in the third set with a telling run behind the troika of Rondina, Laure and Jimenez to take a comfortable, 23-16 lead. Caitlyn Viray nailed an ace in the next play to move at match point before freshman Kecelyn Galdones sealed the win with a kill block on Mean Mendrez.

UE absorbed its ninth loss in 11 outings and third in a row after sorry five-set defeats against Far Eastern University and University of the Philippines.

Judith Abil had 11 points, 15 excellent receptions and eight digs while Mendrez was limited to only six markers for the Lady Warriors.



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