Photo By: Karl Dela Cruz
The De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Spikers reasserted dominance over the Ateneo De Manila University (ADMU) Lady Eagles in straight sets, 25-17, 25-13, 25-23, on April 13, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The match was a key contest for both squads as the playoffs draw closer. With tournament dominance up for grabs, both teams got off to a solid start. The Lady Eagles and Lady Spikers went blow-for-blow in the early part of the set. But the defending champions soon flipped the switch and blasted the Katipunan-based squad to pull ahead.
Up by a single point, 14-13, the Lady Spikers went on a blistering 9-1 run to pull ahead 23-14, capped by a hammer from team captain Desiree Cheng. The stunning turn of events got the better of the Lady Eagles, dropping the ball and putting DLSU at set point, 24-14. Ateneo tried to extend their lifeline a little longer, saving three set points, 24-17, before eventually succumbing to La Salle, 25-17.
The Lady Spikers continued their roll in the second frame pulling ahead early. DLSU grabbed an 11-4 lead before Ateneo head coach Oliver Almadro tried to ice the Lady Spikers’ momentum with a timeout but to no avail. DLSU continued to pounce on the rattled Lady Eagles and never looked back, closing the set swiftly, 25-13.
The third set featured much of the same trend from the previous sets. The Taft-based squad showed control over their rivals, up as much as six, 22-16, near the end of the third set. The match was as good as over but the Lady Eagles had other plans. Ateneo mounted a last ditch effort to save the match, cutting the deficit to a single point, 23-22.
After a smooth ride to the third set, tensions began to rise for the Lady Spikers as the Lady Eagles was in striking distance. La Salle caught a lucky break as an error by Deanna Wong put them at match point, 24-22. But just as the match appeared to be over, a service error by Des Clemente left the door open for the Lady Eagles, 24-23. Ateneo tried to hold on to tie the set but a hit from Aduke Ogunsanya put the final nail in the coffin, 25-23.
The Lady Spikers put on a clinic on the defensive end with six blocks against none for Ateneo. The veterans took center stage and was a key component in winning the match. May Luna was brilliant as La Salle outscored Ateneo, 35-17, in two sets while she was on the floor. Jolina Dela Cruz led the team in scoring with 14 markers while Clemente and Ogunsanya both had 10 apiece. CJ Saga earned Player of the Game honors tallying 21 excellent digs and 14 excellent receptions.
Catch the Lady Spikers as the try to extend their win streak against the Lady Warriors on April 24, Wednesday, 2PM at the Filoil Flying V Centre.