La Salle sends UP back down to earth with straight-set win
MANILA, Philippines – Led by Ara Galang’s 20 points, the De La Salle Lady Spikers sent the UP Lady Maroons crashing back down to earth with a straight-set victory, 25-16, 25-20, 25-21, and remained undefeated in the women’s volleyball tournament of the UAAP on Saturday, December 6 at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
After displaying their vast improvement with a 4-set upset of the UST Tigresses last Wednesday, the Lady Maroons proved they have yet to reach a point where they can overcome the big guns of UAAP volleyball.
Last year’s finalists La Salle, who won their fourth straight game this season, were in a completely different league in the first set, firing up their offense and dismantling UP’s defense.
With the Lady Spikers’ offense operating like clockwork and the Lady Maroons’ unable to fix their reception and get a good first ball up, the Taft-based crew dominated for a 20-9 advantage in the first courtesy of a Galang down the line hit. But consecutive hitting errors by La Salle helped mitigate UP’s defensive problems, which made the final first set score more respectable for the Diliman squad.
La Salle came out full force in the second set going 4-0 before UP settled down and banked on open spiker Nicole Tiamzon to lead them back into the game, 5-4.
The 5-foot-10 middle hitter Katherine Bersola then tied the contest for the first time at 8-all with a solid block on Cyd Demecillo before the Lady Spikers pulled away once more, 18-13. A 3-0 run by Bersola and Tiamzon gave La Salle a scare, 18-17, before creating permanent separation to snatch the second set.
UP, who fell to 1-3 in the standings, failed to carry over their momentum from the win over UST, although they did build on their newly acquired confidence and boldness, which allowed them to take a 7-2 advantage over La Salle to start the third set.
Both teams went back and forth – with UP finding answers to every La Salle attack – in the third but the Lady Spikers scored 4 straight points to take the lead for good, 18-15.
Galang, who tallied 16 attacks, 3 blocks, and 3 service aces, fittingly claimed match point with a powerful kill.
Demecillo added 10 points including 10 excellent digs while Mika Reyes had 9 markers with 3 of La Salle’s team total 8 rejections.
For UP, Tiamzon finished with 17 points on 15 kills and two aces. While Season 76 Best Blocker Bersola was responsible for all of her team’s 4 blocks. She added 10 points.
La Salle: Galang 20, Demecillo 10, Reyes 9, Fajardo 5, Cheng 4, Soyud 3, Baron 1, Dy 1.
UP: Tiamzon 17, Bersola 10, Araneta 7, Ilustre 2, Ong 2.