By Denver Del Rosario
The University of the Philippines (UP) Lady Maroons are back on the losing end as they crumbled before defending champions, De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Archers in straight sets, 25-27, 11-25, 17-25, in the UAAP 79 volleyball tournament today at Filoil Flying V Arena.
After a strong showing in the first set, the Diliman-based squad eventually lost steam in the second and third sets as the Lady Archers took advantage of their reception woes.
“Andun pa rin yung errors sa first ball,” said team captain Arielle Estranero. “It’s normal to commit an error during the game pero lately, napapadami siya, and it’s something we have to work on in training.”
Majoy Baron led the onslaught for DLSU with 16 points—six of which are service aces–while Des Cheng, Kim Dy, and Tine Tiamzon contributed 11 each.
On the other hand, sophomore Isa Molde spearheaded the charge for the Lady Maroons with 12 points, while Diana Carlos added 11.
While the Lady Maroons played slightly better in non-scoring skills (digging, receiving, and setting), the Lady Archers outperformed them in the scoring departments (spiking, blocking, and serving).
The Taft-based squad proved their blocking prowess with nine block points over the Lady Maroons’ two. Moreover, the Lady Archers scored 11 points in the service department, while UP only registered a single point.
The Lady Archers surged ahead in the first set with a six-point lead, 4-10, courtesy of attacks from Dy and Cheng.
However, the Lady Maroons rallied in the later part of the set as they took the driver’s seat, 19-17, with an error from Kim Fajardo and a drop ball by Molde.
The Diliman-based squad had two set points at 24-23 and 25-24, but DLSU showed composure as they snatched the set, 25-27, via an error by Marian Buitre and a block by Cheng.
The Lady Maroons lost their energetic display as DLSU tallied a 10-point lead in the second set, 10-20.
An ace by Baron and an error by Buitre finished the set in favor of the Taft-based team.
In the third set, the Lady Archers built a six-point lead midway, 8-14, courtesy of attacks by Baron.
The Lady Maroons tried to claw back, 12-15, via a Carlos spike, but DLSU scored four consecutive points from an attack by Dy and three aces from Baron, 12-19.
The Lady Maroons eventually failed to stage a comeback as Baron closed the game with a block on Nicole Tiamzon.
With the loss, UP sinks deeper in the team standings with a 5-5 win-loss card, tied with the Far Eastern University (FEU) Lady Tamaraws in fifth place.
For their four remaining games, Estranero looks to maintain a positive outlook.
“Siyempre, tuloy lang ang laban,” said Estranero. “The fight is not yet over. We just have to build our confidence from the past few games and we can’t let this game affect us.”
The Lady Maroons will next face the Adamson University (ADU) Lady Falcons on Wednesday at 2 p.m. at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
(Photo taken on Feb. 11, 2017, first-round match between UP and UE.)