By CARLO ANOLIN
National University held off Ateneo in the fourth set and eked out a stunning 25-22, 25-15, 22-25, 25-22 win while La Salle made quick work of Adamson, 25-21, 25-20, 25-14, for a share of early lead in the UAAP Season 84 women’s volleyball tournament Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City yesterday.
Princess Robles and Michaela Belen connived down the stretch, coming through with key points that enabled the Lady Bulldogs to get closer to the Blue Eagles in the fourth frame.
After they succeeded to tie the game thrice, NU’s Erin Pangilinan and Ivy Lacsina tightened up their net defense and blocked Faith Nispero’s potential game-tying attack en route to match point, 24-23.
Belen then fittingly dashed Ateneo’s comeback bid with an ace, triggering off wild celebration on the bench and even their supporters.
Robles scored 18 points off 17 attacks and a block while Belen posted 16 spikes for 18 markers as they helped hand the reigning titlist their second straight defeat.
The Blue Eagles dropped their opening game to arch rival La Salle.
Alyssa Solomon chalked up 15 points, four coming off service aces, and Ivy Lacsina had for NU.
Ateneo recovered from its early slump and capitalized on the free points given up by the misfiring Lady Bulldogs.
The Lady Bulldogs, however, cut their four-point deficit just down to one, 23-22, but Faith Nisperos was quick to respond and put the Eagles at set point.
Nisperos was the lone bright spot for the Eagles with 16 points off 15 attacks while Vannie Gandler chipped in nine points.
In the second game, the Lady Spikers made sure there would be no extended sets as they dominated their rivals in the third set, coming through with a variety of power smashes.
Alleiah Malaluan and Jolina Dela Cruz led La Salle with 12 points apiece while May Ann Nuique and Lucille May Almonte paced Adamson with 12 points each.