MANILA – University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses moved closer to UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball crown after a 25-17, 25-16, 25-20 sweep over Ateneo Lady Eagles in Game 1 of the Finals on Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Cherry Rondina waxed hot offensively with 23 points, on 20 attacks, two blocks and a service ace, while Ejiya Laure contributed 11 markers, including nine attacks, for the Golden Tigresses.
The stunning straight set victory pushed the Golden Tigresses closer to its first UAAP women’s volleyball tiara in eight years when it repeats over the Lady Eagles on Wednesday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The Golden Tigresses came out firing in the first two sets as it jumped to identical 18-10 advantages before preventing the Lady Eagles from gaining momentum and took a 2-0 set lead.
The Lady Eagles gained control early in the third set but the Golden Tigresses went on a huge run to take a 16-11 edge. Ateneo made its last push at 20-21 but back-to-back hits from Rondina and two errors by Lady Eagles’ Erika Raagas completed UST’s win.
“Una siyempre magandang morale para sa mga bata. Sabi nga sa history medyo matagal ng (di nananalo sa Ateneo) pero di ko na idinidiin kasi ang importante sa amin play at the present kami,” said Golden Tigresses head coach Emilio Reyes
Kat Tolentino was the lone double-digit scorer for the Lady Eagles with 12 points, while veterans Madeleine Madayag and Julia Samonte were held to six points each and Bea de Leon was limited to four points./PN