DO YOU REMEMBER… UE’s upset win over UST?
Mark Escarlote on Jun 26, 2020 02:35 PM
(Photo: Arvin Lim)
University of the East for years has been languishing at the bottom four of the UAAP women’s volleyball standings.
The Lady Warriors saw a string of winless seasons and years with no more than four wins in their slates spanning for more than a decade now.
Season 80 was no exception.
In fact, the Lady Warriors even faced internal issues when UE sacked head coach Francis Vicente, who the year before handled the women’s national team that saw action in the 2017 Kuala Lumpur Southeast Asian Games, midway in the tournament.
But in that season, the Lady Warriors pulled off a huge upset against a team they haven’t beaten for years.
UE announced that it parted ways with Vicente on February 2018 while its men’s team mentor Sammy Acaylar resigned from his post to concentrate on his position as athletic director of University of Perpetual Help in the NCAA.
The school’s athletic director Rod Roque took over as interim mentor.
In his first game, Roque steered the Lady Warriors to a shocking five-set win over Adamson University.
Then came their collision course against the Sisi Rondina-led University of Sto. Tomas on March 7, 2018.
Heading into the match, the Tigresses dropped three straight games and were having issues of their own with EJ Laure skipping the season because of a shoulder injury while the then 6-foot-2 rookie Fil-Italian Milena Alessandrini was also nursing a shoulder injury.
Using the momentum of their win to end the first round, the Lady Warriors gave the demoralized UST a hard time right from the opening serve.
The Lady Warriors showed poise and grit especially in the closing stretch of their set wins to down the Tigresses, 25-23, 18-25, 28-26, 26-24, for UE’s first back-to-back victories in six years.
The Lady Warriors defeated University of the Philippines at the end of the first round and start off the second round in Season 74
The trio of Mean Mendrez, Shaya Adorador and Judith Abil did most of the damage on offense.
Mendrez finished with 21 points in including 15 attacks, Adorador had 15 markers while Abil added 10 points.
Adding more frustration to the Tigresses was the solid net defense of UE anchored on Seth Rodriguez and Roselle Baliton, who combined for eight of the Lady Warriors 12 kill blocks.
Prized libero Kath Arado punished UST with her inspired game as the defense specialist tallied 32 excellent receptions with 28 digs for UE.
The Lady Warriors gave the Tigresses the most sting in the last two sets when UE climbed out of 20-24 and 20-22 deficits in the third and fourth frame, respectively, to complete their first win over UST in the Final Four era which started in 1994.
Sisi Rondina, who eventually ended up as the that season’s leading scorer, finished with 25 points.
It was an emotional moment for the Lady Warriors after years of frustration.
Unfortunately, it turned out to be the last win of UE that year as the Lady Warriors dropped their next six games to finish at the bottom.
As for UST, it landed at seventh spot with a 4-10 record – its worst finish in years.
Watch the game here:
Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles