by SHAYNE LEE MACARAEG
THE UST Golden Tigresses ended the NU Lady Bulldogs’ 20-game winning streak since 2019 in a five-setter adrenaline rush, 25-23, 27-25, 17-25, 22-25, 15-11, during the first round of the UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball tournament.
This is the Lady Bulldogs’ first loss since season 81. The Bustillos-based squad’s previous defeat was in April 2019, also at the hands of the Tigresses, which defeated them in four sets, 27-25, 25-17, 20-25, 25-16.
UST’s captain Eya Laure finished off NU to take the dub in the deciding set after blocking the Lady Bulldogs’ game-high scorer Alyssa Solomon’s spike, 15-11.
Laure had 18 points on 14 attacks, four blocks, to go along with 14 excellent digs. Solomon led NU with 22 points on 20 attacks and a pair of blocks.
The Tigresses were able to take a 2-0 set lead over the Lady Bulldogs, an unfamiliar territory for the defending champions. However, NU did not go down that easily as it responded by winning back-to-back sets to force a fifth set.
Tigresses’ lefty rookie Regina Jurado was named player of the game after scoring 18 points on 14 attacks, two blocks and a couple of service aces. UST’s Milena Alessandrini twisted her right ankle in the fourth set, but she was able to finish the game with 14 points.
Season 84’s most valuable player Michaela Belen had 17 points on 14 attacks with 14 excellent receptions for the Lady Bulldogs. Jennifer Nierva also contributed 24 excellent digs and 14 excellent receptions.
“We are on cloud nine today. How we will control it, we will be talking about it tomorrow.” Coach Emilio “Kung Fu” Reyes said after the Tigresses impressive win at the Mall of Asia Arena, Saturday.
“We will enjoy tonight, and the rest, we will go back to zero again. It is that simple,” he added.
The Tigresses will seek to continue its winning ways when they face the Adamson Lady Falcons on March 8 at the Araneta Coliseum. F