La Salle only needed three sets on Thursday night to prove that it was the best team for a job that no other squad has yet done: beat National University Lady Bulldogs.
Its blockers stop killing and blunting attacks, Lady Spykers securing the third set rally of Atenio Blue Eagles 25-19, 25-20, 25-23 in the semifinals that gave the school a ticket to the finals of the UAAP Season 84 Women’s Volleyball Tournament.
“We were ready to fight whatever Atenio gave us,” said Benson Buckbok, assistant coach at La Salle. From attack to defense. And so far [everything we planned] Implemented. “
For Atenio, it was the end of a reign that began in 2019 and was prolonged by the COVID-19 epidemic, which closed the tournament for the next two years. The Blue Eagles also had a hand in extending their rule, winning three do-or-die matches before facing their formidable rivals, who were waiting with double-bit cards in their pockets.
“In preparation for this game, we knew Ateneo was coming [winning] Important game. [so] We’re ready twice, maybe three times, as hard as we can, “he said.
But this is not the time for La Salle to prepare for the game that destroyed Atenio.
This was the length of the Lady Spykers, which divided the Blue Eagles on either side of the Mall of Asia Arena net.
Defense from the point
La Salle came up with a huge block with four in the first set, which stunned Atenio’s killing. And while those blocks weren’t the result of points, they were a blunt attack that already bought a great floor coverage, a lot of time to set up his defense.
The Lady Spykers turned their defense into a big point, especially in a sequence in the third set, where La Salle dug two Atenio kills that looked like a sure point before setting Jolina della Cruz for a point that gave them a 20-14 lead.
Faith Nisperos tried to revive the Flatline Blue Eagles with four straight points and Erica Ragas came alive on the stretch to push Atenio 23-22. Ragas also saved a La Salle matchpoint before Leah Malaluan gave up a game-clinching point.
“We are very happy to win it. We offer it to our seniors and our coaching staff,” said Malaluan. “It’s the fruit of a week of hard work to prepare for this game.”
Malaluwan finished with 16 points, while Della Cruz and Thea Gaggett, who have several big kill-blocks, added 13 points for the Lady Spykers, who will face the Lady Bulldogs in three of the best fights for the title starting Saturday. .
Della Cruz’s back-to-back aces lead La Salle from a 7-10 deficit to take the lead at 12-11. Malaluwan did not have to look back on the set after finding his mark and Gagate closed the airspace for the Blue Eagles.
The pace spread to the second set as each Lady Spyker performed her role well. Backup setter Julia Cornell, on the field just in time for her survey, hit La Salle with an ace to set the point there, before Fifi Sharma stopped Nisperos with a block that ended the second set.
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