By Ricky Manliguis
SAN JUAN—The streak of Final Four appearances continues for Ateneo.
The Lady Eagles banked on steely nerves as it nosed out a gritty Far Eastern U side in five grueling sets, 25-20, 25-22, 17-25, 21-25, 15-8, to snatch the first Final Four slot in the women’s volleyball competitions of UAAP Season LXXIX Saturday at the FilOil-Flying V Centre.
The Katipunan-based squad notched its eighth straight win for a 9-1 win-loss card while also stretching its mastery over the Morayta-localed team to eight games dating back to Season 76.
Leading 10-8 in the deciding fifth set, the Lady Eagles took advantage of the Lady Tamaraws’ four errors in the final frame, including two offensive blunders to secure the victory.
Jhoan Maraguinot pumped in timely hits in the clutch to finish with a game-high 23 points anchored on 19 attacks, three aces and a block. Micheele Morente got 15, while Bea De Leon contributed 12.
Team skipper Jia Morado had 39 excellent sets and six points for Ateneo.
Over-all, ADMU had a slight edge in attacks, 55-49, while scoring 10 service aces.
Bernadeth Pons paced FEU, which dropped to an even 5-5 record, with 19 points on 15 attacks. Toni Rose Basas followed suit with 14 markers, while captain Remy Palma had 12.