UAAP Season 82: Lady Eagles rout Fighting Maroons to start title-retention bid
Mark Escarlote on Mar 04, 2020 06:59 PM
(Photo: Arvin Lim)
Kat Tolentino and rookie Faith Nisperos flexed their muscles as the duo carried defending champion Ateneo de Manila University to a dominating, 25-13, 25-17, 25-23, victory over University of the Philippines on Wednesday in the UAAP Season 82 women’s volleyball tournament at the MOA Arena.
The pair pummeled the Fighting Maroons into submission as the Lady Eagles let the league know of their serious bid to retain the title.
“We’re so grateful and finally we had an opportunity to play again in the UAAP and thankful also the Lord gave us this first win,” said Ateneo coach Oliver Almadro. “Malaking bagay ‘to para sa amin to win the first game of the season but we will not stop here. One game will not determine our character. We’re just happy na nakapaglaro na kami ulit and we won the first game.”
Ateneo staved off UP’s late game counterattack after the Fighting Maroons cut its four-point deficit, 14-18, to just 19-20 after an Isa Molde kill. The Lady Eagles sparked a run to move at match point, 24-21, after a Tolentino kill block on Molde. UP saved two match points after Marist Layug got a check followed by Nisperos error but Rem Cailing sent her service short as Ateneo bagged the win.
Tolentino finished with 15 points while Nisperos and Jules Samonte chipped in 10 markers each for the Lady Eagles.
Ateneo opened the floodgates early, taking the fight out of UP to dictate the tempo of the match and draw first blood in the Battle of Katipunan.
UP did show some resistance in the second set when the Fighting Maroons rallied to tie the frame at 14. The Lady Eagles answered with an 11-3 blitz capped by Jules Samonte’s back-to-back kill blocks.
Tots Carlos was the only UP player in double figures with 11 points but had to bleed to get her spikes in with a 7-of-38 hitting clip while Molde scored nine.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles