Posted Feb 16th 2014
UST subdues UE to end 4-game slide
By Anthony Divinagracia Posted Jan 18th 2014
University of Santo Tomas (UST) finally broke out of its slump Saturday while extending University of the East (UE)’s woes to eight games in the 76th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the San Juan Arena.
The Tigresses survived a third-set meltdown and the Lady Warriors’ dogged resistance to hack out a 25-19, 25-14, 23-25, 25-22 win that ended UST’s four-game losing skein.
With the victory, the Tigresses moved up to 3-5, just a game behind fifth-running Adamson University. UE for its part stayed in the cellar after dropping its 25th straight loss back since Season 74.
Pam Lastimosa again flashed her usual offensive brilliance, scattering 18 points with 15 kills while Jessy de Leon and Mela Tunay chipped in 13 and 12 respectively for the Tigresses, who overpowered the Lady Warriors from the attack zone, 51-28.
Despite losing starting setter Loren Lantin to an early injury, the Tigresses controlled the game and built an 18-8 lead in the first set. But the Lady Warriors slowly closed the gap on Abegail Ponon and Shaya Adorador’s forays, 19-22.
Lastimosa however came to the Tigresses’ rescue with sharply angled open hits to preserve UST’s lead for a 1-0 set advantage.
UST kept its momentum charging in the second frame to grab a 9-4 edge which later turned into a 19-8 bubble beyond bursting by UE’s off-target offensive spears.
Yet the Lady Warriors remained unfazed, catching the Tigresses off-guard in the third to barrel ahead, 15-11. Faith Bulan’s aces then hiked the upperhand to 21-17. UST though managed to tie the count at 21-all but consecutive errors doomed its chances of sweeping the match, giving UE a new lease in life.
Sensing blood, the Lady Warriors marched into the fourth set with an 8-2 lead. But the Tigresses refused to give up as Lastimosa and Jem Gutierrez conspired to knot the count at 11-all. UST later regained the advantage, 16-14, and never looked back to reach match point, 24-18, at the turn.
Adorador led UE with 12 points while Bulan added 11.