THE UST Golden Tigresses gave the De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Spikers their first defeat in the UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball tournament in four thrilling sets, 25-19, 14-25, 25-18, 25-12, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Sunday, April 2.
It was a sweet revenge for the Golden Tigresses, who fell to the Lady Spikers in their season opener.
UST captain Eya Laure earned the match-winning point in the fourth set with an off-the-block hit against setter Mars Alba and middle blocker Fifi Sharma to end DLSU’s nine-game winning streak.
Open hitter Milena Alessandrini used an off-speed hit against the tall blockers of DLSU to close out the first frame, 25-19.
Despite the absence of opposite hitter Leila Cruz due to an ACL injury on the right knee, the Lady Spikers stepped up their defense through their team blocks to capture the second set, 25-14.
UST snapped back with lefty rookie Regina Jurado’s off-the-block attack to Maicah Larroza, taking the third set at 25-18.
Laure and Alessandri led the Golden Tigresses with 49 combined points, while Jurado tallied 12 points, depriving the Lady Spikers of a stepladder advantage.
DLSU’s prized rookie Angel Canino, the lone double-digit scorer for the Lady Spikers, led the previously undefeated squad with 13 points and eight excellent receptions, while middle blocker Thea Gagate scored nine points.
In a post-game interview, Laure said hard work enabled the España-based squad to achieve its big win.
Golden Tigresses’ libero Bernadett Pepito, who logged 25 digs and 11 receptions, said their loss against the Adamson Lady Falcons had inspired her to have a breakout game in this match.
“I promised to myself and to the team, we should not lose and this is the result. We can do it if we help each other,” Pepito said.
With a 7-3 win-loss record, UST is currently ranked third in the team standings, while DLSU remains on top with a 9-1 standing.
The UST Golden Tigresses will gun for another victory against the Ateneo Blue Eagles on Saturday, April 15 at the PhilSports Arena. F – Aris Jhon Galang and Bless Aubrey Ogerio