By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
AFTER taking a one play date break, women’s volleyball action in Season 80 of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) resumes today with a double-header at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
Defending champions De La Salle Lady Spikers battle the University of the Philippines (UP) Lady Fighting Maroons at 2 p.m. to be followed by the match between the Far Eastern University (FEU) Lady Tamaraws and the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Golden Tigresses at 4 p.m.
La Salle is coming off its three-sets win over the National University (NU) Lady Bulldogs, 27-25, 27-25 and 25-16, last Saturday that allowed it to latch on to a share of the tournament lead, along with NU, at 6-2.
The Lady Spikers were a picture of confidence and determination against the Lady Bulldogs, bucking poor starts and coming from behind to claim each of the first two sets.
In the third set La Salle channeled the unstoppable, taking on an early lead and just ran away with the win after.
Kim Kianna Dy led a balanced La Salle attack with 14 points with Desiree Cheng and reigning league most valuable player Majoy Baron adding 13 and 11 points, respectively.
Setter Michelle Cobb had 27 excellent sets for La Salle, winner of its last two games.
“We started slow in the first two sets and I told the players that we were playing at the pace of our opponent. Good thing we were able to adjust,” said La Salle coach Ramil De Jesus at postgame press conference following their last win.
Also coming off a win are the Lady Maroons, who beat the Adamson Lady Falcons in a thrilling five-set joust, 25-18, 14-25, 25-19, 21-25 and 16-14, also last Saturday.
UP had to endure a tough challenge and back-and-forth from Adamson and dug deep in the deciding set to get back on the winning column.
Tots Carlos led the Lady Maroons with 22 points, 20 off spikes and two blocks.
Isa Molde had 18 while Ali Buitre added 12 for the Maroons (3-5), who with the win got their second-round campaign to a good start after a trying opening round.
“We played better today. Our passing and service game improved and we hopefully we can continue it for the rest of the season,” said UP coach Gody Okumu of their win over Adamson (3-5).
BACK TO WINNING
Meanwhile, FEU and UST are angling to get back on the winning track after absorbing losses in their previous assignments.
FEU (5-3) lost to the Ateneo Lady Eagles in straight sets, 25-19, 25-21 and 25-17 last Wednesday.
The loss came for the Lady Tamaraws after they won four straight prior.
In a deeper hole is UST (2-6), having lost their last four assignments.
The Tigresses continue to miss the services of key players due to injuries but they remain hopeful that they could change their fortunes in their remaining games.
In other news, University of the East libero Kath Arado is the latest winner of the UAAP player of the week honors.
The prized libero tallied 32 excellent receptions and 28 digs as the Lady Warriors shocked the Tigresses, 25-23, 18-25, 28-26 and 26-24, last Wednesday to open their second-round elimination campaign on a winning note.
It was also the team’s second win in a row after starting Season 80 with six consecutive losses.
In winning the weekly award, beat out teammate Mary Anne Mendrez, La Salle’s Dy, UP’s Carlos and Ateneo’s Jhoana Maraguinot.