Lady Eagles buck slow start, repeat over Lady Spikers for top seeding
For the third straight season, the Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles will enter the semis on top after defeating archrivals De La Salle University Lady Spikers 12-25, 25-20, 25-21, 25-19 Saturday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum in Cubao. | philstar.com/ Efigenio Toledo IV
MANILA, Philippines — For the third straight UAAP women's volleyball season, the Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles will enter the semifinals on top.
The Lady Eagles overcame a slow start to assert their mastery over archrivals De La Salle University Lady Spikers, 12-25, 25-20, 25-21, 25-19, Saturday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Ateneo struggled with their floor defense in the first set. La Salle, meanwhile, proved too much and even established a 24-9 lead.
Rookie Jules Samonte was Ateneo's biggest revelation as she provided the push the Lady Eagles needed to get back in the game.
She finished the match with 10 points.
"Expected na 'yun eh. Kaya lang hindi lang mabigyan ng break kasi may mga senior (sa team) pero siya (Samonte) 'yung pinakamasipag sa team," assistant coach Sherwin Meneses said.
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Meneses said the win is a confidence booster for them as they are always on top of the eliminations since Season 77.
"Malaking achievement sa team 'yung performance nila sa elimination maganda para pagdating ng semis, mataas 'yung morale nila."
He also said they will not get ahead of themselves since they will face the FEU Lady Tamaraws in the Final Four, a team that pushed them to five sets on both encounters.
"Tulad ng dati namin (na) sinasabi, back to zero na 'yan kasi pare-parehong nasa semis. Semis yan eh, lahat gusto manalo," he said.
Kim Dy scored 15 points for La Salle, who will face the UST Golden Tigresses in the semifinals.
La Salle will face UST on April 22 at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum while Ateneo tackles FEU on April 23 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
Both Ateneo and La Salle are armed with a twice-to-beat advantage.