by Kristel Satumbaga
(The Arena, San Juan City)
2 p.m. – UP vs Adamson (women’s)
4 p.m. – Ateneo vs NU (women’s)
National University (NU) was caught by surprise in the third but recovered gradually to beat a stubborn University of the East (UE), 25-15, 25-21, 22-25, 25-21, yesterday in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.
The Lady Bulldogs fell into a maze of errors mainly due to the Lady Warriors’ booming spikes before steeling themselves to escape with the win.
NU’s triumph improved its record to 6-4, tying University of Santo Tomas for third to fourth places.
Combination plays from Jorelle Singh and Jaja Santiago enabled NU to break loose from a tight contest, taking a 23-19 breather from a slim 18-17 lead.
Santiago exploded anew with 23 points built on 20 attacks and three blocks, while Singh pumped in 17 points on 15 kills and two aces for the Lady Bulldogs.
UE’s rise in the third was aided by NU’s poor reception and the gutsy plays of Shaya Adorador and Judith Abil.
In all, NU had 37 errors.
Risa Sato also provided reinforcements with 10 points, including five blocks, while setter Jasmine Nabor 27 excellent sets and 12 digs on top of eight points.
While UE had flashes of offensive brilliance, its defense was so weak that it produced only one block courtesy of Seth Rodriguez.
Its 13 service aces also did not help as NU finished with 61 digs – 10 coming from Aiko Urdas.
Adorador and Abil combined for 26 points for UE which delighted the crowd with its heady plays.
In men’s play, La Salle (4-6) survived a tough first set loss before besting Adamson (2-8), 27-29, 25-22, 25-21, 25-18, while early semifinalist NU (9-1) outlasted UE (1-9), 25-21, 25-23, 26-24.
The trio of Arjay Onia, Cris Dumago, and Geraint Bacon combined for 52 points for La Salle as they outshone UE’s own Big 3 in John Philip Yude, Paolo Publico, and Michael Sudaria for UE.
Fauzi Ismail and James Natividad, meanwhile, scored 13 and 11 points, respectively for NU, which also produced eight blocks and eight aces in beating FEU.