|La Salle marches into the UAAP 81 women's beach volleyball finals where they will meet defending champs UST. Kennelf Monteza/File Photo|
By Ricky Manliguis
MANILA-- La Salle pair of Tine Tiamzon and Mich Morente staved off a spirited University of the Philippines side to fashion out a 21-16, 24-26, 15-9 victory and march into the finals of the UAAP Season 81 women's beach volleyball at the Sands SM by the Bay in Pasay Saturday.
The Taft-based spikers used its fresh legs to full use, but had to overcome the charge of UP's Justine Dorog and Isa Molde with a brilliant third frame for a finals date with defending champions University of Santo Tomas.
La Salle's last finals appearance was in Season 78, where they won the title at the expense of Far Eastern University.
UP went into the La Salle game full of momentum after coming from behind in beating National U's Kly Orillaneda and Antonette Landicho,12-21, 21-19, 15-6, in the first stepladder match.
And after losing the first set, the Diliman tandem even crawled back from a 18-20 second-set deficit with six consecutive points that forced a third and deciding set.
In the third frame, Tiamzon and Morente broke from an 8-8 deadlock on five straight hits for a 13-8 edge.
Back-to-back service errors by Molde and a hitting mistake by Dorog proved costly down the stretch, enabling La Salle to seal the victory.
In the finals, La Salle will try to foil the three-peat bid of the Tigresses spearheaded by graduating star Sisi Rondina and rookie Babylove Barbon.