Lady Spikers tame Tigresses; book ticket to UAAP S79 Finals

Published on April 22nd, 2017 | by Khyte Mendoza

Photo by: Flavius Dulce

The De La Salle University Lady Spikers clinched their ninth straight Finals appearance as they overpowered the University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses in four nail-biting sets, 25-14, 25-20, 24-26, 25-13, in the Final Four of the UAAP Season 79 Women’s Volleyball Tournament at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, Saturday.

It was another whole team effort that brought DLSU to promised land. MaJoy Baron led the charge with 17 points, four coming from blocks. Tiamzon added 13 markers, while Kim Dy chipped in 12. Desiree Cheng and team captain Kim Fajardo posted 11 points apiece, which the latter fired five aces and dished out 39 excellent sets.

Dawn Macandili anchored DLSU’s floor defense with 20 digs and nine excellent receptions.

La Salle went off to a hot start as they set-up a combination play for Cheng to build a 9-4 edge in the opening set. Te Green and White kept UST at bay, only letting the Tigresses trim their lead to as close as four points. Dominique Pacres, then, hit the ball out to give the Lady Spikers their biggest lead of the set, 21-13. Three straight points for Cheng, including two from the service line sealed the first for DLSU.

The Tigresses looked to fight back, but La Salle knew just what to do with the former Baron shut the door down on EJ Laure to push the lead to five, 12-7. The walls of Baron and Aduke Ogunsanya rejected spikes from UST’s outside hitters. Coach Kung Fu Reyes’ team, though, retaliated as Shannen Palec sent a gift to cap off cut their edge to one, 17-16. Still, DLSU once again found a remedy to stop the bleeding en route to a 2 sets to none lead.

It was a different story, however, in the third set. The Tigresses stacked up a 6-1 lead after Laure scored off the block. UST, though, took a huge blow after Laure went down in the middle part of the set after spraining an ankle. DLSU took advantage with Baron and Tiamzon taking the driver’s seat for La Salle, 15-13. On the other hand, Sisi Rondina and company refused to let go. Laure was able to go check back in and delivered the goods for her team. La Salle saw themselves down, 21-24, but Tiamzon answered the call to extend the third frame before Rondina took over to hand the third to the Tigresses. Another factor that led to the Lady Spikers downfall in this set was their 11 errors.

Knowing La Salle, when they lose a game or even just a set, they bounce back big time. In the fourth set, DLSU unleashed their loaded serves to put up a commanding 11-1 lead, most of the points coming from Fajardo’s service aces.

The lead was too big for the Tigresses to overcome.

May Luna, who provided spark for DLSU, found an open to corner to push the Lady Spikers’ lead to 12, 21-9. Then, they did not turn their backs to finally seal a finals berth.

Rondina tallied 19 points, while Laure added 14 for the Golden Tigresses.

Game 1 of the Finals will be on Saturday, April 29, 4pm at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City. They will face the winner of the ADMU vs FEU match-up.'

Khyte Mendoza

For God… With God… Sports!

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