by SHAYNE LEE MACARAEG
THE UST Golden Tigresses came up short of entering Finals territory after being booted out by the top-seeded DLSU Lady Spikers in their Final Four matchup in four sets, 24-26, 22-25, 25-20, 19-25, in the UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball tournament.
The Lady Spikers were looking to close it out early in the fourth set, as super rookie Angel Canino, who scored a game-high 19 points on 18 attacks, hit two consecutive spikes to build an eight-point lead, 13-21, at the Araneta Coliseum, May 3, Wednesday.
But the España-based squad, the only team to beat DLSU this season, was not going away that easily when they mounted a comeback to cut the lead to four after an attack from Eya Laure, 19-23.
It was not enough, however, to stop the vengeful Lady Spikers, as Alleiah Malaluan converted an attack for match point, followed by a block from Thea Gagate to eliminate the Tigresses, 19-25.
The Tigresses ended their promising season as fourth placers, while the Lady Spikers advanced to the women’s volleyball finals in back-to-back seasons as they are set to face the NU Lady Bulldogs on May 7.
After trailing two sets to none, there was still hope for UST to keep their season alive when they took command in the third set, leading by as much as nine points, 25-20. Imee Hernandez capped off a 4-0 run with a block to end the set.
Tigresses’ captain Laure finished her last game in UAAP scoring 15 points on 14 attacks, along with 12 excellent digs, and 11 excellent receptions.
Meanwhile, Hernandez contributed 12 points on nine attacks, a couple of blocks, and an ace for UST. Milena Alessandrini also added eight markers and a block.
DLSU’s libero Justine Jazareno was named Best Player of the Game after a great defensive effort as she tallied 22 excellent digs and 16 excellent receptions. Jolina Dela Cruz had 10 markers, while Malaluan who was a spark plug off the bench had nine points on nine attacks. F