by Christian Ver Marcelo
The Ateneo de Manila University once again proved their mastery over the University of the Philippines in their second round meeting of Women’s Volleyball, 25-15, 25-14, 26-24 Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
The Lady Maroons evidently struggled in scoring as no one managed to score in double figures. Captain and top scorer Angeli Araneta piled up eight points, while setter Nicole Tiamzon and spiker Julienne Calugcug added five and four points respectively.
However, UP did not easily give up the fight. They led the opening set up to the first technical timeout, 8-5, and rallied fiercely in the tight third set.
It was when Lady Eagles’ captain Alyssa Valdez heated up and led her squad, with contributions from her teammates Amy Ahomiro and Ella de Jesus, that things started to go downhill for the Maroons in the opening frame.
Looking upset, the Maroons showed less aggressiveness in the following set as the Eagles dominated and finished with an 11-point lead.
UP refused to bow down on the third and rallied toe to toe with the Eagles to keep the score close. Libero Princess Gaiser dug up Valdez’ powerful hits and gave the Maroons chances to attack.
At 24-all, UP then gave up a point from a miscommunication error between Gaiser and Sheeka Espinosa. Valdez then ended the game with a drop shot.
Valdez scored 19 points, 14 from attacks, three aces and two blocks. Ahomiro and de Jesus also backed up with 14 and eight points, respectively.
The Maroons, who are usually strong in the blocking department, registered a dismal count of six successful blocks in the game.
UP will face University of Santo Tomas on Sunday at the FilOil Arena in San Juan, hoping to add another victory to their lone win against University of the East in the first round.