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Maraguinot-less Ateneo crush UE ahead of matchup with La Salle

By Julian Reyes

MANILA--Ateneo de Manila got warmed up for its highly-anticipated match with defending champion La Salle with an emphatic 25-18, 25-12, 25-10 straight set victory over the also-ran UE Lady Warriors in the UAAP Season 79 Women's Volleyball Tournament at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay, Sunday.

The Lady Eagles, who were without Jhoana Maraguinot, dominated from all over the court, outscoring UE in attacking, blocking and service departments while getting 27 points via the Lady Warriors' errors to share top spot with La Salle at 11-2 card.

Ateneo will meet its archrival on Saturday to determine the number-one seed come the Final Four.

Kat Tolentino led Ateneo's surge with 12 points while setter Jia Morado recorded nine points on five service aces and 26 excellent sets.

Michelle Morado added eight points as all Lady Eagles who played put their names on scoreboard.

The Lady Warriors had a promising start, fighting their way against the Lady Eagles in the first set, but faded soon after.

Ateneo closed the third set with a 15-2 run for their second straight win ahead of matchup with La Salle, who has yet to lose a game in the second round.

Mary Anne Mendrez and team captain Shaya Adorador scored six and five points, respectively, for UE who will play winless Adamson on Wednesday.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @JrAdmiral_16