Tigresses end Season 85 title bid at hands of DLSU
By Rob Andrew Dongiapon
Destiny that wasn’t meant to be.
The UST Golden Tigresses had met its fate in the UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball tournament, falling to the hands of the DLSU Lady Spikers in four sets, 24–26, 22–25, 25–20, 19–25, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City on May 3, Wednesday afternoon.
It was a nip-and-tuck battle from the get go but the Golden Tigresses failed to find their higher gear as the Lady Spikers proved to be too much down the stretch for UST.
Playing in what might be her last game for UST, Eya Laure left 15 points on the court, while Imee Hernandez backed her up with 12 markers, but it all went to naught to the number one seed and the twice-to-beat holder La Salle.
The win propelled the Lady Spikers to its second straight finals appearance.
UST was almost always within striking distance in all the sets, but DLSU’s resistance in the net was a turning point in the matchup as the towering Lady Spikers’ out-blocked the Tigresses, 11–4.
Super rookie Angel Canino led the way for La Salle with 19 points on 18 attacks, while Jolina Dela Cruz chipped in 10 together with Thea Gagate and Alleiah Malaluan with nine each.
Both teams traded kills early on, but the Golden Tigresses lost gas when faced off the tall frontline of the Lady Spikers to concede the extended first set, 24–26.
After a knot at 18, DLSU zoomed to a 5–1 run courtesy of attacks from setter Mars Alba and Dela Cruz to open the floodgates for a Lady Spikers’ ambush for a 2–0 set edge, 22–25.
The third set was UST’s best display, exacting an 11–2 blast on the Lady Spikers to pull away in the middle portions and never look back, 25–20.
The final stretches of the third set — when La Salle seemingly found some groove and cut the lead down to 22–20. However, it was carried out in the fourth set as La Salle’s main guns overwhelmed UST, jumping on a lead as big as seven to knock the wind out of the sails of the Tigresses.
Aside from Laure, Alessandrini, Maji Mangulabnan and KC Galdones are also slated to decide on whether or not to opt their last playing year following this loss.
On the contrary, the two-seeded UST Tiger Spikers open their Season 85 stepladder tournament campaign against the FEU Tamaraws on Sunday, May 8, at the same venue.