By CARLO ANOLIN
University of the Philippines clobbered University of Santo Tomas, 25-21, 23-25, 25-21, 25-22, to remain unbeaten in three games in the UAAP Season 84 women’s volleyball tournament Tuesday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The Lady Maroons became the first team to get the solo lead as two more undefeated squads in the De La Salle Lady Spikers and the National University Lady Bulldogs were playing at presstime.
It was a total team effort as Jewel Encarnacion led UP’s balanced attack with 16 points off 13 spikes while Alyssa Bertolano hammered down 10 pikes, three blocks, and two service aces for 15 as they negated Eya Laure’s 28-point effort.
Lorie Bernardo, Nina Ytang, and Jaila Atienza also scored nine points apiece for the Lady Maroons.
“The credit goes to the players, they played their hearts out. We had a plan and our plan worked which I cannot share with you at this moment,” said UP head coach Godfrey Okumu.
“It was not an easy game. UST is a very, very strong team, they are very experienced, and they have a good coaching staff who would know how to read a game. So, it’s a win yes, but it wasn’t easy for us. We really worked hard for this and I hope the girls will continue fighting the same way.”
After a hard-fought third set, UST only trailed by two points, 23-21, down the stretch but UP easily took momentum after reaching match point first off an Alyssa Bertolano drop.
Laure, who fired 25 attacks and two service aces, pumped life for the Golden Tigresses with a tip on center hole en route to a 24-22 deficit.
But her second attempt, a well-set spike aiming for the crosscourt, was blocked by the duo of Bernardo and Bertolano which enabled the Maroons to improve at 3-0 record.
In the second game, Chen Tagaod once again spearheaded the FEU Lady Tamaraws, who improved to a 1-2 record, with 20 points all built from spikes while Jean Asis and Karyme Truz scored 13 points apiece. Team captain Lycha Ebon also had 10 points for FEU.
Janeca Lana paced the Lady Warriors, who remained winless in three consecutive matches, with 20 points behind 16 attacks, three blocks, and a service ace, and Ercae Nieva posted 15 hits and four service aces for 19 points.