Ateneo Lady Eagles earn first win over UST Tigresses
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Ateneo Lady Eagles bounced back from a lackluster first two games to stun the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Tigresses in 4 sets,16-25, 25-21, 25-22, 25-23, on Sunday, February 11, at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
Leading 24-21 in the 4th set, the Tigresses managed to take two points from the Lady Eagles to cut the deficit to one. Bea de Leon sealed the win with a spike smack in the middle.
The Ateneo Lady Eagles and the UST Tigresses now stand at 1-2 in the UAAP Season 80 Women's Volleyball tournament.
De Leon, Jhoana Maraguinot and Kat Tolentino scored 11 points each to lead the Lady Eagles to their first victory. Dani Ravena covered the floor with 10 excellent digs and 10 successful receives while Deanna Wong made 38 excellent sets.
Sisi Rondina scored 22 points off 19 spikes and 3 aces. Milena Alessandrini followed with 11 points and 10 excellent receives.
After a slow start to the match, the Lady Eagles played catch up to cut the deficit to one, 4-5. At that moment, UST starting libero Rica Rivera tried to receive the ball, but had trouble raising herself up from the ground.
Rivera was rushed to the UST Hospital as the game went on and has been initially diagnosed with a meniscus tear.
Even without Rivera on the court, the Tigresses still secured control of the match and Rondina converted a powerful spike towards the middle to end the first set up by 9.
The Lady Eagles shifted the momentum in the second set and grew their 9-6 lead to 13-6. The combined forces of Alessandrini's attacks and Shannen Palec's aces led to a 17-16 advantage.
Back-and-forth action continued until Rondina tied the score at 20-all with back-to-back spikes. Ateneo capitalized on UST's errors with 4 unanswered points and Kat Tolentino turned back the Tigresses' attempt to rally back with a down-the-line spike.
The Lady Eagles rode with the momentum as Deanna Wong made a drop ball and service ace to give Ateneo a 7-6 edge. The Lady Eagles blew their 3-point lead (9-12) as UST scored 9 unanswered points punctuated by Alessandrini's 3 service aces.
UST's defense began to suffer with the loss of Rivero when Ateneo tied the 3rd set at 20-all. Four straight errors from UST closed out the set in favor of Ateneo, who led 2-1 in the match.
The Tigresses attempted to prevent Ateneo from taking the match by getting an 8-5 advantage by the first technical timeout. The Lady Eagles rallied to take back the lead with a Maraguinot spike and a Tolentino service, 10-9.
Back-to-back Rondina attacks cruised through the Ateneo blockade and a service ace by Caitlin Viray allowed UST to pull away, 12-10.
Trailing 12-17, the Lady Eagles raced back to nab the lead once again by 3, capped off by back-to-back blocks and a Samonte spike, 21-18.
Ateneo (91) – de Leon 11, Maraguinot 11, Tolentino 11, Samonte 10, Madayag 9, Wong 4, Gaston 1.
UST (92) – Rondina 22, Bicar 11, Francisco 10, Viray 7, Palec 7, Pacres 6, Bicar 1.