By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
The Ateneo de Manila University pulled off a massive win after handing the mighty University of Santo Tomas (UST) a sweeping defeat – 25-20, 25-20, 25-20 – in the UAAP Season 84 women’s volleyball tournament.
After kicking off the tournament with a shaky start, the former UAAP multi champions are currently on a roll and exacted revenge against UST who earlier outdueled them in the regular season’s elimination phase.
Vanie Gandler and Joan Narit were the biggest revelations in the clash and led Ateneo with 12 and 11 points, respectively, after providing much-needed offensive punch in three tightly contested sets.
“Sabi lang namin sa isa’t isa we have to take this win home, pero indeed, they want to take this win home. We’re not looking at it na kailangan straight sets e, we just did our job,” said Blue Eagles head coach Oliver Almadro.
Aside from their momentum-boosting victory, the win Ateneo earned is also UST’s first-ever three-set loss of the season.
Faith Nisperos unleashed her offensive prowess during the showdown and top-scored Ateneo with 18 points built from 15 attacks and tallied seven excellent receptions.
The young spiker answered every UST run in the second set and was always on-point with her attacks that helped Ateneo keep its lead.
UST’s Eya Laure had her usual solid performance against Ateneo and finished the game with 14 points and 14 excellent receptions but wasn’t enough to maintain their winning streak against the Lady Eagles.
“We prepared for this, nag manifest naman sa mga kilos ng bata. May mga lapses pero nakakarecover right away. We don’t mind kung ilang sets, ‘di namin napansin na matatapos na pala in straight sets so we just grabbed it,” Almadro added.