Posted Feb 16th 2014
Ateneo grabs first win
By Anthony Divinagracia Posted Dec 7th 2013
Veteran star Alyssa Valdez again shouldered the bulk of Ateneo de Manila University’s offense Saturday but the Lady Eagles prevailed this time, demolishing Far Eastern University (FEU) in the 76th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the San Juan Arena.
The power-playing Valdez virtually owned the Lady Tamaraws, displaying her leadership and vast attacking game to the hilt to register a game-high 23 points in Ateneo’s 25-19, 25-23, 25-18 sweep of FEU, which tied their tormentors at 1-1.
Amy Ahomiro finished with 13 points on 10 hits and three blocks while rookie Ana Gopico added 12 to backstop Valdez, who had 19 attacks, four aces, and six digs in the one-hour, 19-minute encounter.
With Valdez catching fire early, the Lady Eagles cruised to an insurmountable 22-13 lead to seize the opening set.
But the Lady Tamaraws appeared to wake up from its defensive slumber, erasing a 3-8 second-set deficit to knot the count 10-all before wresting the upperhand 16-14. The Lady Eagles kept the ball on the rise, giving Valdez and the other frontliners more attacking options in a see-saw battle that ended in a 23-all deadlock before Ateneo reached set point.
Up by two sets, the Lady Eagles then kept the momentum rolling in the final canto, posting several five-point margins, the last at 20-15, to eventually ice the game.
So flat was FEU’s reception and blocking that it allowed Ateneo to punch in 42 kills and eight service winners, mostly from open hits and combination plays led by Valdez, Ahomiro, and Gopico.
FEU though struck a living on Ateneo’s miscues, extracting 30 points off turnovers but the Lady Tamaraws still failed to deliver offensively with just 26 hits to show.
None of the Lady Tamaraws barged into double figures with newcomers Geneveve Casugod and Marie Simborio combining for only 15 points to lead FEU. Sophomore Remy Palma chipped in six markers.
Comebacking mainstay Mayjorie Roxas was not fielded in the game after straining her recuperating knee during practice.