Sweet revenge: UST Golden Spikers claim first win against NU since 2014

The UST Golden Spikers start their UAAP Season 86 men’s volleyball campaign with a win against the reigning champions NU Bulldogs in straight sets, 25-23, 26-24, 25-19. Photo by Jianzen Deananeas/THE FLAME

THE UST Golden Spikers opened their UAAP Season 86 men’s volleyball campaign by snapping defending champions NU Bulldogs’ 34-game winning streak via sweep, 25-23, 26-24, 25-19, on Sunday, Feb. 18.

The victory at the Mall of Asia Arena was UST’s first win against NU since 2014, a sweet revenge against the team that blew their hopes of winning a championship during the Season 85 finals.

Opposite hitter Gboy De Vega served up the match-winning ace in the third set of the game, setting the tone for a promising season.

UST ramped up an early five-point lead in the opening set until NU closed in after back-to-back kill blocks, tying the game at 12-all.

They reached another deadlock at 20-all as both teams traded errors. Reigning Rookie-MVP Josh Ybañez delivered an off-the-block hit to secure the first set, 25-23.

It was a tight second frame after both teams continued to trade powerful hits. NU’s Jade Disquitado managed to tie the score at 23-all with a hit, but UST refused to let go.

Coming off the bench, open hitter Sherwin Umandal provided a spark with three crucial attack points, forcing unforced errors from NU and paving the way for a 26-24 set-win.

The Golden Spikers built a slight lead early on the third set, allowing them to capitalize as the Bulldogs struggled with errors.

UST claimed a 5-2 momentum as middle blocker Rainer Flor delivered a block that put the España-based squad at match point, 24-19.

Ybañez led the Golden Spikers with 12 attacks and an ace, while middle blocker Paul Colinares and open hitter Jay De La Noche chipped in nine points.

NU’s Angelo Almendras carried the Bustillos-based squad’s offense with 15 points, followed by Disquitado’s 13 points.

The Golden Spikers seek to continue their winning streak as they face the UE Red Warriors on Feb. 21 at the SMART Araneta Coliseum. F

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