3 points from the weekend's UAAP women's volleyball action
MANILA, Philippines – What an eventful weekend for volleyball — the Sunday matches in particular where we saw UST and Ateneo chalk up huge wins.
Here are points to take from those games:
It’s official: NU is in a rut once more
You have to wonder how people like me seeded the NU Lady Bulldogs to contend if not win it all this year. Why not? They have the veterans and the talent. They have experience and hunger. Mental fortitude? Still not yet there. But more on that later.
The Lady Bulldogs have not won in the second round. They are 0-4 and have dropped from first to fifth spot. And they still have to face FEU and UE and UP, which have crashed out of Final Four contention. At this rate, do you think they will pull the rug even from the cellar-dwellers?
If you look at their second round, the Lady Bulldogs generally do well in the first set — much like the UP Fighting Lady Maroons — then gradually fade. Their scoring plummets as does their morale. Word is that their practices are killers and maybe that has had an effect on them.
Fortunately for them, Adamson’s inconsistency gives them a shot to still grab a Final Four slot. But who knows? This second round tailspin has been downfall in seasons past.
Ateneo has quietly slipped into second place and are holding firm
Just as we figured NU to do well, we didn’t imagine the Ateneo Lady Eagles staying up there with all their manpower losses and off-court concerns. That’s a thing of the past, more so with that huge five-set win over Adamson. The Lady Falcons were on the verge of wrapping up the match in four and taking their first ever win over Tai Bundit. But no. Ateneo came alive and Adamson succumbed to some errors. And it was the same in the fifth set.
Ateneo is right behind La Salle with an 8-3 record; one more than third-running FEU.
They have played well in spots and done well offensively. It’s defensively where they need to become better.
But how about Deanna Wong. Her first year with a lot of playing time and she is giving a very good account of herself. Sixty-three excellent sets? Massive. I am not even sure if Jia Morado had that many in a game while wearing the blue and white of Ateneo. Whether she did or not, this is good for Deanna as she has firmly stamped her class with Ateneo. And she will only get better.
This is an understatement, but that was a painful loss for Adamson
The Lady Falcons botched a huge chance to really move up on NU in the standings but also mess up the middle of the order. If Ateneo lost, they’d be tied with FEU. That would greatly open the doors for UST that mathematically remains in the hunt for a semis berth.
There has only been one consistent team this season and that has been La Salle. Everyone else has been the opposite. Adamson has weapons from every side of the court even without the injured Chiara Permentilla. They just need to bring it every game.
But it was also the errors that cost them this game. Unlikely errors. Especially the one from Jema Galanza that should have ended the game.
Fortunately, they have a 13-day break to forget about that loss. But up next is FEU.