Lady Eagles fly high
Ateneo now on a four-game win streak; UP woes continue
THE ATENEO Lady Eagles sustained their ascent in Season 80 of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines ( UAAP) yesterday, defeating the University of the Philippines ( UP) Lady Fighting Maroons in three sets, 25- 20, 25- 22 and 28- 26, in their “Battle of Katipunan” at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
Adjusted accordingly when they were challenged throughout the match and capitalized on the mistakes of their struggling opponents, the Lady Eagles swept the Lady Maroons to win their fourth straight contest in the ongoing season while adding to the woes of UP, which has now lost four in a row.
Ateneo jump-started things in the opening set, building a 4- 0 lead before UP fought its way back to secure an 8-7 lead by the first technical knockout.
The Lady Eagles started their ascent thereafter behind Jhoanna Maraguinot and Jules Samonte, overtaking the UP and establishing a 14-11 advantage.
The Diliman-based Lady Maroons came to within one point of the Lady Eagles a couple of times for the remainder of the frame but the latter dug deep to hang on and take a one set- tonone lead.
Ateneo continued to soar to start the second set, racing to an 11-4 separation.
Things got worse for the Lady Maroons, no thanks to attacking errors, as they went 20-12 down three-fourths of the way.
But UP fashioned out a lastditch effort to salvage the set, going on a 10-4 blast to come within two points, 24-22.
The Lady Maroons did not go closer than that, however, as Ateneo’s Maraguinot wrapped up the set for her team.
In the third set, the Lady Maroons got off to a strong start, outscoring the Lady Eagles, 5-1, in the early goings.
Ateneo did not stay down for long as it crept its way to tie the count at 11-all midway into the frame.
But UP would regain control, holding a 16-14 lead by the second technical knockout.
The two teams went backandforth the rest of the way, fighting to a 22- all count before Ateneo moved one point away from claiming the victory, 2423.
UP leveled the score at 24-all to extend the game, and even went a point shy of winning the set, 26-25, in the extension, but just could not deliver the finishing touches and slumped to the defeat. Samonte paced Ateneo with 15 points, 12 off attacks, while Maraguinot finished with 11 points.
Skipper Maddie Madayag and Bea De Leon scored nine points apiece.
UP, for its part, was led by Tots Carlos’ 20 points with Isa Molde adding 16.
“It all boiled down to the ‘ Happy Heart’ mantra of coach Tai [ Bundit]. We just stayed strong and did what we needed to do,” said setter Deanna Wong, who had 33 excellent sets to win player of the game honors.
The win improved the Lady Eagles to 4- 2 for joint second place with the De La Salle Lady Spikers, who Ateneo will face next on March 3.
UP, which saw middle blocker Jessma Ramos go down yesterday with an apparent ankle injury, fell to 1- 4 after opening its campaign in the tournament with a victory.
The Lady Maroons next play on Wednesday against the University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses.