By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
Gold is the new kryptonite.
After suffering a disappointing loss against the De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Spikers during the first round, the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Golden Tigresses’ mission of payback was a success after taking down the green nation in their second-round rematch, 25-19, 14-25, 25-18, 25-12, in the ongoing UAAP Season 85 Women’s volleyball tournament last April 2, 2023, held at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
The Golden Tigresses not only bounced back from their loss against the Lady Spikers but also handed them their first-ever loss of the season after going undefeated for nine-straight games.
Eya Laure’s best performance of the regular season so far came at the perfect time after unleashing 29 big points in just four sets.
The Queen Tigress started the duel waxing hot after finishing all of her first five spike kills that helped UST gain the early advantage.
Despite DLSU’s towering middle blockers, Laure’s crafty scoring display prevailed in the occasion and wowed the massive crowd with a couple of drop balls that caught the DLSU floor defenders off guard.
The Lady Spikers then responded in the following set after the duo of super rookie Angel Canino and leader Jolina Dela Cruz came alive midway through the second period.
Just when DLSU thought they could snowball the next sets with their middle blocking and 1-2 quick scoring set plays, Laure once again stepped up in the bright lights and set the tone for the Golden Tigresses.
Laure’s energy was so contagious that it sparked Milena Alessandrini to join the scoring party and delivered huge in the last two sets.
Alessandrini backstopped what Laure kicked off and contributed 20 points and nine excellent receptions.
Bernadett Pepito, UST’s star libero, also manned the floor coverage well after tallying 25 successful digs and 11 excellent receptions.
As the set went midway through the third period, DLSU suddenly had difficulty in their first balls which the Golden Tigresses capitalized up to the fourth and final set.
“Syempre, kami naghahanap kami ng panalo, luckily, tumama naman yung mga galaw naman though ang dami pa ring dapat i-correct. Ibabalik lang ulit naman sa training,” said UST’s chief tactician Kungfu Reyes.
With the win, the Golden Tigresses improved to seven wins and three losses and will have the chance to retake the lead against the second-seeded Adamson University if they win their last games against FEU, NU, and UP.