DLSU Lady Spikers book Shakey’s Super League semifinal ticket

The DLSU Lady Spikers are marching to the semifinal round (Roman Prospero/SSL via tiebreakertimes.com)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Spikers continued its dominant post-UAAP outing after sweeping Mindanao’s Jose Maria College Foundation, 25-18, 25-14, 25-19, to punch a semifinal spot in the ongoing Shakey’s Super League National Invitationals volleyball tournament last August 2, 2023, held at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.

It was another convincing victory for the reigning UAAP women’s volleyball queens despite the absence of their superstar Angel Canino who is still resting for the upcoming Season 86.

Stepping up for the Lady Spikers is Thea Gagate once again after anchoring the DLSU defense with her middle blocking while also contributing to the offensive end.

After a tight contest in the first 15 minutes of the match, Gagate helped DLSU pull away in the final five possessions in the opening set with her solid middle blocking.

The Lady Spikers then took full control of the match in the second set, limiting the team from Mindanao to only 14 points to go up with a 2-0 advantage.

Jose Maria College came back in the third set and started strong with hopes of turning things around their way but DLSU was just too much after sending in a barrage of perfectly executed offensive set plays.

Shevana Laput, one of DLSU’s young core members, backstopped Gagate in the win after taking over in the third and final set.

It was Laput who spearheaded a much-needed scoring rally to help the Lady Spikers score three-straight points to reach the match-point stage.

Aside from Gagate and Laput’s solid two-way outing against Mindanao, DLSU also showed improved floor coverage.

With their efficient digging and first ball receives, Jose Maria College failed to capitalize on the mini-run they had in the final set and slowed down midway through the third.