Ateneo, UP post separate sweeps to set off 2nd-round bid

MANILA, Philippines – After capping off the first round with a loss, Ateneo bounced back, dealing Far Eastern University its fifth consecutive setback, 25-22, 25-13, 25-23 in the second round of the UAAP Season 84 women’s volleyball tournament on Thursday, May 26 at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Faith Nisperos unloaded a game-high 19 points built on 15 attacks, 3 aces, and a block along with 9 excellent receptions to lead the Blue Eagles to a three-way logjam at fourth with Adamson and UP at 4-4.

With the Lady Tamaraws threatening to come back, Ateneo got its much-needed boost after FEU’s Chen Tagaod committed an attack error which placed the Blue Eagles at match point, 24-22.

Although Joan Narit’s service attempt hit the net in the next play, Ateneo sealed the win with an Erika Raagas block on FEU’s Shiela Kiseo.

AC Miner scored 9 points while Lyann De Guzman, who only played in two sets in the match, added 8 points in the victory.

Vanie Gandler also had 7 points and 9 excellent digs for the Blue Eagles.

Jaja Maraguinot collected 16 excellent sets to go along with 2 points while Roma Doromal and Dani Ravena had 8 excellent receptions and 5 excellent digs, respectively.

“As I told my players, we really have to have wisdom and strength towards the end… because we had the chance to close it out, but because of the players’ youth [we committed mistakes],” said Ateneo coach Oliver Almadro. “In time, our movements will be fluid.”

Following a tight opening set win, Ateneo went off in the second set and put up a 12-point cushion before eventually taking a 2-0 set advantage over FEU.

Leading the charge for the 1-7 Lady Tamaraws is Kiseo with 9 points and 10 excellent receptions. Tagaod added 6 markers while Kary Truz and Jean Asis chipped in 4 points each.

FEU stalwart Lycha Ebon sat out the contest.

Ateneo will face National University on Saturday at 4 pm while FEU will take on De La Salle University at 6 pm.

UP rediscovers winning ways

University of the Philippines snapped its four-game losing streak after sweeping the winless University of the East, 25-23, 26-24, 25-17.

Alyssa Bertolano led the Fighting Maroons with 14 points to go along with 8 excellent digs while Niña Ytang provided the spark with 13 points on 11 attacks and 2 aces laced with 4 excellent receptions.

“It has been a while,” said UP head coach Godfrey Okumu as their last win was back on May 10 – a 25-21, 23-25, 25-21, 25-22 triumph over University of Santo Tomas.

“Like I said before, like any other team, we struggle, we have to find our rhythm. We want to win, we want to win more games and that’s what we are doing,”

UP team captain Jewel Encarcacion added 10 points in the victory while Marianne Sotomil tossed out 16 excellent sets and scored 2 points.

“The last couple of games yes, we didn’t play well. I hope that from now on we’ll continue fighting for better results just like today,” he added after the match that lasted for one hour and 32 minutes.

The Fighting Maroons built a 10-point advantage late in the third set, 21-11, off a flawless ball drop coming from Ytang.

UP never looked back from there, securing its first win in five games to move up to the fifth spot with a 4-4 slate.

On the other hand, no player from the Lady Red Warriors reached double digits in scoring with Lia Pelaga ending up with just 8 points. Ja Lana added 7 while Dara Nieva and Rhea Manalo each had 5 markers for UE, who suffered its eighth loss in as many outings.

UP will face UST next on Saturday at 12:30 pm while UE looks to nab its first win against Adamson at 10 am. – Rappler.com

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