DLSU Lady Spikers advance to Final Four with sweep of UE
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - The reigning champs move one step closer to their goal of defending the title.
The De La Salle University Lady Spikers have clinched the second semifinals seat in the 79th UAAP Women's Volleyball tournament after taking down the University of the East in three sets, 25-16, 25-15, 25-9 on Saturday, March 25 at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
In a battle between two of the best blocking teams in the league, the Lady Spikers slightly edged out UE in net defense, 5-2, while also outscoring them 39-20 in the spikes department to keep the Lady Warriors at bay throughout the match.
The Taft-based squad also capitalized on their foes' 23 unforced errors as well as reception faults- listing 8 service aces in the game.
While his mentees have booked the 9th straight Final Four appearance for the green and white, head coach Ramil de Jesus looks beyond as his team eyes a twice-to-beat advantage this season.
"'Yun ang sinasabi ko, hardwork and perseverance," said De Jesus after the game.
"Ang importante makuha namin 'yung twice-to-beat [advantage], 'yun ang aim namin."
"'Yung UST, every game nag-iimprove eh. Isa rin sila sa mga magaganda 'yung standings, so kailangan talaga paghandaan."
(That's what I always say, hard work and perseverance. It's important for us to claim twice-to-beat, that's really our aim. UST improves every game. They're one of the teams with a good record, so we need to prepare [for the next game].)
Desiree Cheng landed the Player of the Game honors after posting a game-high 10 points on 9 attacks, while Majoy Baron and Kim Fajardo had 9 apiece.
Team captain Shaya Adorador led UE with 6 markers, all from attacks, while Mary Anne Mendrez added 5.
The Lady Spikers join the Ateneo Lady Eagles in this year's semis cast, as the two teams now share the top spot with a win-loss slate of 9-2.
The Lady Warriors have yet to list a victory in the second round of eliminations as they drop to a 1-10 record.
La Salle will next face the University of Santo Tomas Tigresses, who are likewise gunning for a playoff spot, on Wednesday, March 29.
DLSU (3): Cheng 10, Fajardo 9, Baron 9, Dy 8, Tiamzon 7, Layug 3, Ogunsanya 3, Ipac 2, Barroga 1
UE (0): Adorador 6, Mendrez 5, Baliton 4, Abil 3, Gabarda 2, Alcayde 1, Olarve 1, Rodriguez 1, Catindig 1