Lady Eagles score first win with four-set victory over UST
THE ATENEO Lady Eagles defeated the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Lady Tigers, 4-1, with set scores of 16-25, 25-22, 25-22, 25-23, on Sunday, February 11, at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
With the win, the Lady Eagles successfully picked themselves up from their past two consecutive defeats in Season 80 of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Women’s Volleyball tournament. The Blue and White now move to a 1-2 win-loss standing.
On offense, the Lady Eagles saw four players score in double-digits as Bea de Leon, Jho Maraguinot, and Kat Tolentino put up 14 points each, with Jules Samonte contributing 10 of her own. In her first start of the season, rookie libero Dani Ravena showcased 13 excellent digs. Meanwhile, Deanna Wong facilitated Ateneo Coach Tai Bundit’s offense well with 38 excellent sets.
In the first set, the Lady Eagles found themselves entering the first technical timeout (TTO) trailing UST by two, 6-8. Entering the second TTO, the Blue and White then found the deficit increased to six, as attacks from Lady Tigress Cherry Rondina clearly troubled the Lady Eagles’ defense at times. Eventually, UST would go on to claim the set, 16-25, with 12 of their points coming from attacks.
Errors loomed over both sides in the early stages of the second set as four consecutive offensive errors served as the main source of points for both teams. However, a quick attack from de Leon would eventually send the Lady Eagles into a 5-2 scoring run to enter the first TTO with a four-point cushion, 8-4.
Three offensive errors from UST additionally helped the Lady Eagles’ cause as they entered the second TTO with their maintained four-point advantage, 16-12. Eventually, a block off the kill from Tolentino would claim the set for the Lady Eagles at 25-22. Errors plagued the Lady Tigers in this set as these resulted into 11 of the Lady Eagles’ points.
Ateneo opened the third set under heavy pressure from the Golden Tigresses, but a quick from de Leon broke the deadlock to send the Lady Eagles into the first technical leading by one, 8-7. However, UST soon catapulted with an impressive 7-0 scoring run to lead by the second TTO, 12-16. The Lady Eagles eventually clawed their way back into the game at the 22-point mark before capitalizing on three consecutive offensive errors to claim the set at 25-22. The Lady Eagles’ offense saw the Blue and White score 13 points off attacks alone.
In the fourth set, the Lady Eagles found themselves entering the first TTO trailing UST by three, 5-8 Determined to get her team back in the game, numerous attacks down the line from Cherry Rondina increased UST’s advantage to four entering the second TTO, 12-16.
Exiting the timeout, however, the Blue and White then rose to the occasion as a 9-1 scoring run eventually saw them lead by three at the 21-point mark, 21-18. Eventually, de Leon’s deflected spike saw the Blue and White winning the set, 25-23, and take their first win in this season.
After the match, de Leon spoke about how following Coach Tai’s mantra helped hurl the team into victory. “We went back to Coach Tai’s mantra of being headstrong. Everything we do, we have to do it happy, we have to do it together, and we just can’t give up.”
The Lady Eagles will seek their second win of the season against the University of the East (UE) Lady Red Warriors at 2:00 PM on Saturday, February 17, at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan City.
Ateneo-FEU: 16-25, 25-22, 25-22, 25-23
Ateneo: Maraguinot – 11, Tolentino – 11, de Leon – 11, Samonte– 10, Madayag – 9, Wong – 4, Gaston – 1
NU: Rondina – 14, Alessandrini- 11, Viray – 7, Palec – 7, Pacres – 6, Bicar – 1