|Ernestine Tiamzon and the rest of the La Salle Lady Spikers are one win away from capturing back-to-back titles.|
By Ricky Manliguis
QUEZON CITY-- Failing twice in the elimination round, La Salle finally got the payback against its bitter rivals and in the finals no less.
Bucking a first-set loss, the defending champions stormed in the next three to frustrate Ateneo, 21-25, 29-27, 25-22, 25-20, to take Game 1 of the Women’s Volleyball finals of the UAAP Season LXXIX at the jam-packed Araneta Coliseum Tuesday.
The win inched the Taft-based school closer to back-to-back titles as it defeated the Lady Eagles for the first time this season.
After a shaky start featuring 11 unforced errors, the Lady Spikers responded with a gritty second-set comeback, rallying from an 18-22 deficit behind the steady play of team captain Kim Fajardo.
The next two frames were evenly-matched, as Ateneo even held an 18-15 lead in the fourth, before
La Salle responded with six unanswered points to put away the game for good.
Ernestine Tiamzon fired 15 points, all on attacks, to banner the green side. Kim KIanna Dy chipped in 14 markers, while Desiree Chang and Fajardo accounted for 10 apiece on seven service aces.
The graduating Fajardo also pumped in 37 of her team’s 40 excellent sets with 10 digs.
DLSU dominated defensively against the Ateneo offensive, picking up 62 digs and 32 excellent receptions.
“Actually sa training, pag nagre-review kami ng game nakikita namin ang difference ng bawat team, kaya naghabol kami sa depensa kasi very aggressive ang Ateneo,” La Salle coach Ramil de Jesus
Jhoan Maraguinot led the charge for the Lady Eagles with 16 points on 14 attacks, Bea De Leon had 14, while Michelle Morente produced 11. Skipper Jia Morado chalked up 46 excellent sets.
Game 2 is set on Saturday, May 6, still at the Araneta Coliseum.