Golden Spikers thwart Red Warriors’ momentum to secure second win

Photo by Franz Martin Dizon/THE FLAME

THE UST Golden Spikers stunned the UE Red Warriors in a thrilling sweep, 28-26, 25-19, 26-24, in the UAAP Season 86 men’s volleyball tournament at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, Feb. 21.

Leading at match point, reigning rookie-MVP Josh Ybañez delivered the final blow with a powerful off-the-block against UE, sealing their second win of the season.

The Golden Spikers’ strong floor defense and net dominance allowed them to make up for the early service errors in the opening frame. Sophomore setter Dux Yambao sealed the tight first set with a single block, 28-26. 

Ybañez blasted off-the-block attacks and crosscourt kills in the second set to tie the game at 8-all. Sherwin Umandal, who came from the bench, shattered UE’s blockers for a 25-19 set win.

The third set saw UE build a six-point advantage, 14-20. However, open hitter Gboy De Vega’s crosscourt kill and Yambao’s block allowed the Espana-based squad to claw back, bringing the game to a deadlock, 23-all. Ybañez then delivered the match-winning point.

De Vega led the Golden Spikers with 14 points, while Ybañez and middle blocker Paul Colinares pitched in 12 and 10 markers, respectively. 

UE open hitters Joshua Pozas and Tebs Aligayon steered the Red Warriors with 11 and 10.

The Golden Spikers seek to extend their winning streak when they face the De La Salle University Green Spikers at the Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday, Feb. 25. F – Ayanna Dezyrein Zoleta

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