NU begins UAAP women’s volley defense with Ateneo sweep

Joyme Cagande and Shaira Jardio share a moment together after a play. UAAP Season 85 Media Team
By Stewart Tan

MANILA—National University kicked off its title retention bid in the UAAP Season 85 women's volleyball with a 25-15, 25-20, 25-16 straight set romp of Ateneo de Manila University on Saturday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

Alyssa Solomon led the way with 12 points, on 10 attacks, one block and a service ace, while Princess Robles logged 11 points and eight digs for the Lady Bulldogs, which recorded its 19th straight win dating back to Season 82.

"Happy kami na nakikita namin kung ano yung pinagttrainingan namin at naaapply namin sa game pero hindi kami magse-settle kasi marami pa rin kaming dapat i-improve," said Solomon.

Leading by just a small margin in the early parts of both the first and second frames, the Lady Bulldogs unleashed huge runs to put away the Blue Eagles and cruise to a 2-0 advantage.

The Lady Bulldogs then started the third on fire, racing to a 16-4 lead and reaching match point by a mile, 24-11, before the Blue Eagles made five straight points to inch within single digit, 24-16, before Ateneo’s Faith Nisperos committed a service error.

"Malaking bagay sa amin yung parang fresh start kasi kami eh. Ang mindset na muna namin yun pa rin, every game pa rin mula last season hanggang sa nag champion kami and ngayon panibago na ulit," said NU head coach Karl Dimaculangan.

The Lady Bulldogs were masterful at the service line, leading to 10 aces compared to Ateneo's two in the one-hour and 25-minute match.

Alexa Miner top-scored with nine points including two blocks, while Vanessa Gandler and Nisperos chipped in eight points apiece for the Season 84 second runners-up Blue Eagles.

Follow the site on Twitter: @DugoutPH