Posted Feb 16th 2014
Ateneo, UP open 2014 volleyball action
By Anthony Divinagracia Posted Jan 2nd 2014
Second-running Ateneo de Manila University and neighboring University of the Philippines eye no less than a victory to jumpstart the year as they face off today in the 76th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the San Juan Arena.
The less heralded “Battle of Katipunan” between two teams on the opposite side of the volleyball fence serve off at 2 p.m. to mark the first game day of 2014 with the Lady Eagles just behind defending three-peat champion and league-leading De La Salle University.
Currently tied with National University at 3-1, the Lady Eagles are slightly favoured against the vastly improved yet inexperienced UP squad which share the bottom with fellow league doormats University of the East (UE), both sporting 0-4 records.
In its previous game last December 18, Ateneo plastered UE (25-11, 25-15, 25-17), to capture its third straight victory entering the holiday break.
Alyssa Valdez, the league’s top scorer so far, powered Ateneo with 21 points hinged on 13 hits, five aces, and three blocks against the Lady Warriors. Amy Ahomiro and Ana Gopico combined for 18 markers to backstop Valdez.
UP for its part got a 9-25, 21-25, 19-25 shellacking from La Salle last December 15.
None of the Lady Maroons managed to break into double figures. Veterans Angelie Araneta and Katherine Bersola scored nine points each to lead UP, which proved no match to La Salle’s vaunted attacking game.
The Lady Eagles are no.1 in serves so far with 31 aces, and second in digs (251 of 432 attempts), reception (139 of 217 attempts) and sets (349 tosses). Ateneo meanwhile is third in kills, converting 150 of 203 tries.
On the other hand, UP is seventh in kills and serves, and dead-last in reception, despite being third in blocks, fourth in digs, and fifth in sets.
The game will air live on Studio 23, BALLS HD 167 and uaapsports.tv with a same day replay at 6 p.m. on BALLS SkyCable channel 34/ Destiny Cable channel 36.