Lady Spikers dismantles Ateneo, surges to No. 1

Kim Dy and De La Salle Lady Spikers relegate Ateneo Lady Eagles to the No. 3 spot after sweeping their Sunday match in three sets, placing themselves on No. 1 at the end of the eliminations. MARLO CUETO FOR SPIN.PH

MANILA – De La Salle University Lady Spikers needed just three sets to impose its dominance on Ateneo Lady Eagles 26-24, 25-17, 25-19 in the UAAP Season 80 volleyball on Sunday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

Ernestine Tiamzon, Desiree Cheng and Mary Joy Baron came up with solid games for Lady Spikers, which ended the double-round elimination on top of the standings with a 12-2 win-loss card.

Lady Spikers, which also swept all of its seven matches in the second round of eliminations, will have a twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four next weekend against No. 4 National University Lady Bulldogs.

DLSU had a strong start in the first set as it built a 12-7 lead behind Tiamzon, Cheng and Baron. Lady Eagles rallied back to force a 24-all tie but an error by Lady Eagles’ Jhoanna Maraguinot and a Baron hit ended the set.

Lady Spikers opened the second frame with an 11-2 edge on hits by Tiamzon and Michelle Cobb. Ateneo came to as close as 9-15 but Lady Spikers padded the lead anew to double digits via hits from Cheng, Kim Dy and Baron.

Lady Eagles put up a fight in the third and went toe to toe with Lady Spikers but the latter went for a finishing run from Norielle Ipac, Tiamzon and Cheng to turn a 16-15 lead to a 6-point spread.

The defeat was costly for Lady Eagles (9-5) as it dropped to third place and will have a twice-to-win disadvantage over No. 2 Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws, which disposed Lady Bulldogs in the first game 25-21, 25-22, 16-25, 25-20.

Negrense Bernadeth Pons finished with double-double 17 points and 16 excellent receptions while Celine Domingo chipped in 12 markers for FEU, which improved to 10-4. Lady Bulldogs slipped to 7-7./PN



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