UAAP: FEU survives Ateneo behind ‘total team effort’ in women’s volleyball
MANILA, Philippines — Far Eastern University teetered on the brink before outlasting Ateneo, 25-12, 15-25, 19-25, 25-15, 18-16, Wednesday in the Women’s Volleyball Season 85 of the UAAP at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Jovelyn Fernandez had 18 points built on 15 attacks and Alyzza Devosora delivered 11 points for the Lady Tamaraws, who scored with a defensive ploy that held off their rivals when it mattered most.
Rookie Mitzi Panangin netted 11 and three blocks and Christine Ubaldo added an outstanding 22 sets, but it was the effort freshman Margarett Encarnacion put in to deny Ateneo’s foray into the net with an excellent 35 recoveries which proved to be critical.
“I’m grateful to my freshmen, they stepped up for the team. I didn’t expect that, so I’m really proud of what they showed,” said the FEU coach, Tina Salak, after the Lady Tamaraws secured their second win in four games.
The Lady Tamaraws, who have broken a losing streak against Ateneo since 2019, secured the first set and gave up the next two frames before forcing the decider after the fourth.
“It was total teamwork. We are still struggling, but there is still a lot of room for improvement,” Salak said.
Faith Nisperos had 20 kills on her 21 points while Vanessa Gandler scored 13, had 16 great digs and 12 receptions for the Blue Eagles, coming out of defeat of rival La Salle to absorb a second straight loss, their third overall in four matches.
Ateneo actually recovered from 4-1 and tied the count at seven, sparking a long exchange in the fifth set that culminated with an attack from Fernandez and a decisive block from rookie Gerzel Petallo in Alexis’ final foray. Undermine.
The Lady Tamaraws started their A-game early after grabbing the opening set before the Blue Eagles returned the favor by retiring early in the next frame and eventually leveling the count.
Lyann De Guzman kept Ateneo as far away from the Tamaraws as possible with a barrage of forays midway through the second frame.
Cherie Tagaod mounted a fightback that brought FEU closer, 21-15, after climbing from a nine-point deficit, but Gandler stabilized the Blue Eagles on a pair of wins and Tagaod nailed her serve to match point.
The narrative hardly changed in the following frame as Ateneo walked away determined to put away their opponents quickly, 18-9.
Miner took the cudgels for the Blue Eagles scoring three straight after FEU cut the gap to five. Gandler closed out the set with back-to-back spikes.
Pushed into a very tight position, the Lady Tamaraws broke away to equalize and drag the match to a final set.
When Ateneo closed six, 20-16, Panangin went into attack mode, her twin kills plus errors at the other end clearing the way for a Devosora match point.
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