UP dominates UST, inches closer to Final Four

by Denver del Rosario

The University of the Philippines Lady Maroons edged out the University of Sto. Tomas Lady Tigresses in four sets, 17-25, 25-21, 25-20, 25-20, today in the UAAP 78 women’s volleyball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.

After a slow start in the opening set, the Lady Maroons eventually found their groove and took the succeeding sets. Isa Molde spearheaded the Diliman side with 23 points, while Marian Buitre added 12.

Meanwhile, team skipper EJ Laure led the España-based squad with 20 points.

The Lady Tigresses started hot in the first set, getting to the first technical timeout (TTO) ahead of UP, 4-8, courtesy of points from graduating player Mela Tunay.

UST continued to pull away as Cherry Rondina finished the first set with an attack, 17-25. The Lady Maroons started slow anew in the second set as the Lady Tigresses dominated early, 3-8, courtesy of attacks from Laure and Tunay.

However, the set proved to be a different story as the Diliman-based squad came back to take the driver seat, 16-15.

UP ultimately took the second set via an attack from Molde, 25-21.

In the third set, UST led as much as seven points, 8-15, courtesy of back-to-back spikes from Laure.

The Lady Tigresses continued to lead, 12-18, via an attack from Tunay and a spiking error from Justine Dorog.

Like the second set, however, the Lady Maroons recomposed themselves as they produced 10 consecutive points, 22-18, courtesy of aces from Jewel Lai and attacks from Molde.

Eventually, the Diliman side stole the third set as they denied a spike from Laure, 25-20.

Finally finding their rhythm, the Lady Maroons pulled away early in the fourth set, leading as much as nine points, 21-12.

Molde ended the game with a down-the-line hit, 25-20, giving UP its 8th win of the season.

Even with the victory, UP coach Jerry Yee is disappointed with his team’s ‘fluctuating’ maturity.

“When they get in the court, they play differently from what we practiced,” Yee said in Filipino. “We really need to be patient with them.”

With the huge possibility of clinching a Final Four slot, Yee said they will hope that fate goes their way.

“We are going to pray that La Salle beats NU so we can avoid a playoff,” Yee said in Filipino.

UP’s final four hopes will depend on the outcome of the NU-DLSU game. A win by DLSU will give UP the fourth spot.

UP absorbs tough loss against La Salle

by David Tristan Yumol

IMG_9473 (2)
The La Salle Lady Archers try to block off Lady Maroon Kathy Bersola’s drop, ultimately leading to their victory. Photo by Hannah Paguila.

The University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons suffered a stinging defeat at the hands of De La Salle University Lady Spikers, 25-18, 12-25, 18-25, 21-25, in the UAAP Season 78 women’s volleyball tournament Wednesday at the San Juan Arena.

Rookie Diana Carlos was the lone double-digit scorer for the Diliman-based spikers with 14 points. Fellow rookie Isa Molde and skipper Kathy Bersola added eight and seven points respectively as UP slid to a 6-4 record in the team standings.

“We failed to stick [to] our game plan. Coach wants us to work on our first touch, which is the service and first ball. We don’t know what happened today,” Bersola said.

Things are looking good for the Maroons in the first set as they scored six unanswered points led by Carlos’ kills after being down 0-4.

The momentum continued when UP tallied its biggest lead, 24-16, mostly off aces from Nicole Tiamzon and Molde. They eventually closed the set with a seven-point lead.

A complete turnaround happened during the second set when the Archers started an onslaught of attacks to lead early, 8-3.

La Salle, eventually, made a huge scoring spree midway through the set with their 9-0 run to grab a commanding 15-point deficit, 21-6.

UP tried to get back on track by scoring five unanswered points at the homestretch of the set, 12-24, but failed to end it with a respectable act by committing a service error.

The third set exposed more of UP’s vulnerability as their spikes were not converted to points anchored by the impressive defense at the net of crowd darling Mika Reyes and team captain Kim Fajardo.

Spikes from Archer Mary Joy Baron also bared the defensive lapses of the Maroons especially on who will get the ball after the attack was made.

These mistakes were somehow corrected early in the fourth set when UP had good touches and benefitted from the aces of Hope Christian High standouts Molde and Carlos that kept La Salle’s lead to one, 7-8.

The Archers, however, capitalized on their attacks through the efforts of Kim Dy and Ara Galang to close out the win for the Taft-based spikers.

Despite the defeat, Bersola was optimistic that their performance in this outing was a learning experience for the team.

“I don’t want to feel this way anymore. That’s what I want to instill with my teammates. I don’t want to happen like in the past seasons when we pull away from the games that we know we are capable of winning,” she said.

Bersola added, “This kind of games will teach us our individual playing capabilities and what will lose to us if we give away the win to our opponents.”

Dy and Reyes both contributed 14 points while Galang added 12 points for La Salle.

Next game for UP will be this Sunday against University of the East, 2 pm, at the Philsports Arena.

UP bows down to UST in close fight

by Mikee Garcia

The University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons ended the first round in a sour note with a 0-1 loss to the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers in the UAAP Season 78 men’s football tournament, Thursday at the Moro Lorenzo Field.

It was a tough call for the Diliman-based booters in the 18th minute of the game, when defender Ian Clarino was booked for a red card after a hard foul to UST’s rookie sensation AJ Pasion.

This resulted into a penalty kick for the Espana-based booters which veteran Ronald Batisla-Ong comfortably converted to seal the early lead for the Tigers.

Despite having majority of the ball in the whole duration of the game, the Fighting Maroons had some tricky shot selections that kept the comfortable lead of their opponents.

UP had its chances to score in the second half of the game, through the mid-range shots of team skipper Daniel Gadia and veteran Carlos Monfort and long free kicks courtesy of Patxi Santos.

A last-minute goal attempt from substitute Vince Aguilar during the 92nd minute proved futile as the ball easily came to the hands of UST’s goalkeeper Zaldy Abraham.

Although his boys suffered a tough outing, UP head coach Anto Gonzales commended them for playing their hearts out in the game.

“It’s very difficult playing 64 minutes with ten players but I thought that the boys responded very well despite having a man sent off the game,” said Gonzales.

He also gave credit to the Growling Tigers for packing their defense well after scoring the lone goal of the match.

“It’s been an ongoing adjustment (for my team), trying to get clear scoring opportunities and, of course, technical shooting,” Gonzales added, which he said are also vital in winning more games during the next round of eliminations.

Monfort, however, had a different view with how well they performed in this game.

“I’m contented when it comes to how we move, how we pass the ball, and how we play. But I won’t be contented until we start scoring more goals,” he emphasized.

With the win, UST tied with De La Salle University in the top spot of the team standings by having 17 points, while UP is at fourth place with 11 points.

UP ends 9-year win drought against ADMU

The University of the Philippines showed some grit and pulled off an upset against two-time defending champions Ateneo de Manila University, 19-25, 25-22, 25-17, 25-22.

by Anton Onato

The UP Women’s Volleyball Team in top form after winning 3 sets to 1 against the defending champions from Ateneo de Manila University. Photo by Anton Onato.

It’s another upset. This time against the defending champions.

The University of the Philippines showed some grit and pulled off an upset against two-time defending champions Ateneo de Manila University, 19-25, 25-22, 25-17, 25-22, in the second round of eliminations of UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at San Juan Arena, Sunday.

Four Lady Maroons scored in double digit with rookie Isa Molde leading the charge with 15 points, four of which came from service aces. Diana Carlos and Nicole Tiamzon provided 12 points each as skipper Kat Bersola contributed 10 markers.

“We had better first ball [compared to the first round meeting]. We also had better blockings in this game,” Molde said in Filipino.

UP had seven kill blocks compared to Ateneo’s five.

Alyssa Valdez, meanwhile, tospcored Ateneo, which dropped to 6-2 after losses to La Salle and UP, with 19 points as Jhoana Maraguinot chipped in 15 markers in losing effort.

After a diesel start in the first set, UP went on to take the next sets by banking on their excellent offense. They also capitalized on Ateneo’s errors whom they last defeated on Jan. 17, 2007.

The Fighting Lady Maroons is now on solo third with 5-3 win-loss card. They will face Adamson University on Saturday at San Juan Arena.


This article was originally published in a slightly different format on the Tinig ng Plaridel Facebook page. It has been republished here in full.

UP closes out UST in four-set thriller

The University of the Philippines Lady Maroons subdued the University of Santo Tomas Lady Tigresses in four sets, 25-19, 25-18, 16-25, 32-30, today in the UAAP 78 women’s volleyball tournament at the FilOil Flying V Arena.

by Denver del Rosario

University of the Philippines overwhelms University of Santo Tomas, 25-19, 25-18, 16-25, 32-30, in UAAP women’s…

Posted by Tinig ng Plaridel on Sunday, 28 February 2016

The University of the Philippines Lady Maroons subdued the University of Santo Tomas Lady Tigresses in four sets, 25-19, 25-18, 16-25, 32-30, today in the UAAP 78 women’s volleyball tournament at the FilOil Flying V Arena.

The Lady Maroons proved to be the more composed team after surviving seven grueling deuces in the fourth set.

Rookie Diana Carlos and veteran Nicole Tiamzon spearheaded the Diliman-based squad with 15 and 14 points each.

On the other hand, Cherry Rondina and EJ Laure led the Lady Tigresses with 20 points each. UP took a nine-point lead early in the first set, 19-10, courtesy of UST errors.

The Lady Maroons ultimately snatched the set via an attack by Marian Buitre, 25-19. The host school breezed through the second set as they stringed six consecutive points for a 10-point lead, 22-12, three of which came from Tiamzon’s attacks.

Rookie Justine Dorog capped off the second set for the Diliman-based squad with an offspeed attack, 25-18.

However, the Lady Tigresses refused to give up as Laure led the onslaught with seven points in the third set, including the closing kill, 16-25.

In the fourth set, UP had its chance to close the set, 24-23, but an error by Buitre tied the game 24-all. UST staged a set point, 27-28, via a Rondina block.

However, Kathy Bersola responded with a block of her own to tie the set, 28-all. Finally, the Lady Maroons finally sealed the victory by denying Rondina’s attack, 32-30.

Team captain Kat Bersola, who contributed 11 points for UP, praised the team’s composure in the pressure-packed moments of the last set as a factor for their victory.

“Nakita ko sa mata ng teammates ko yung focus, at kumapit talaga kami sa set na yun,” she said. (I saw the focus in my teammates’ eyes, and we really held on in that set.)

On losing the third set, Bersola acknowledged the heavy serves of the Lady Tigresses as the reason for their breakdown.

“From the start pa lang, nakita naman na nahirapan kami sa first ball, and nagulat kami kasi hindi naman sila ganun mag-serve in the first two sets,” she said. (From the start, it is evident that we struggled with the first ball, and we were surprised because they didn’t serve like that in the first two sets.)

The host school will next face the National University Lady Bulldogs on Wednesday.

Lucky bounce for UP as volleyball teams score wins

by David Tristan Yumol

It was a productive day for the University of the Philippines (UP) volleyball teams as they piled up wins in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 78 volleyball wars Wednesday at the San Juan Arena.

The Lady Maroons returned in their winning ways by upending the Adamson University Lady Falcons, 26-24, 25-27, 25-21, 25-19.

Rookie sensation Isa Molde stamped her class in the game with 23 points. While team skipper Kathy Bersola somehow found her rhythm already, notching 11 points.

The first two sets were close as both teams showed their promising wares in the court.

It was UP who ruled the first set, 26-24, with star spiker Nicole Tiamzon and Molde taking turns in scoring.

However, Adamson capitalized UP’s errors in the homestretch of the second set to win it, 27-25.

Molde scored the crucial points late in the third canto to give the set victory for the Lady Maroons, 25-21.

While in the fourth set, the Lady Maroons contained Adamson’s lead spiker Jessica Galanza in scoring to finish the game and nail their second win in four outings.

UP head coach Jerry Yee was pleased with this victory of his wards.

“I am satisfied with the composure of my team in this ga0 This game is important if we want to enhance our chances in the Final Four,” Yee said.

Galanza and team captain Mylene Paat were the only bright spots for the San Marcelino-based spikers, scoring 25 and 23 points respectively.

The Lady Maroons evened their win-loss slate to two apiece while the Lady Falcons fell to 1-3 record.

Earlier in the day, the Fighting Maroons stinged another highly-favored opponent by humbling De La Salle University in four sets, 25-23, 25-21, 21-25, 27-25.

Wendel Miguel led the charge for UP with 15 points, 13 of which are through spikes. John Mark Millete and team captain Alfred Valbuena added 13 and 11 points respectively for the Diliman-based spikers.

The men’s team tallied their third straight victory after losing their first game. In their previous game last February 13, the Fighting Maroons did a shocker early at the season by sweeping former titlist National University, 25-19, 25-20, 31-29.

Raymark Woo of De La Salle’s game-high 26 points went for naught as the Taft-based spikers lost their third straight outing after winning their first.

Next games for the State U volleyball teams will be this Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena. In the morning at 8 am, the Fighting Maroons will try to extend their magical run as they face defending champions Ateneo de Manila University. While the Lady Maroons will go head-to-head with Far Eastern University in the afternoon at 4 pm.

Katherine Bersola: A story of recovery and resurgence

As she stepped into the taraflex court after a very long time, elation surged through her body. Every after jump and spike meant everything, especially after recovering from a crucial injury that affected her career last season in the UAAP. For someone like Katherine Bersola whose love is playing volleyball, it was a feeling like no other.

by Denver del Rosario

UP Women’s Volleyball team captain Katherine Bersola. Photo by Hannah Paguila, TNP Photographer.

As she stepped into the taraflex court after a very long time, elation surged through her body. Every after jump and spike meant everything, especially after recovering from a crucial injury that affected her career last season in the UAAP.

For someone like Katherine Bersola whose love is playing volleyball, it was a feeling like no other.

Bersola, who just returned in collegiate action after an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury on her left knee in their match against Adamson University last UAAP season, described her happiness as a “crazy” one.

“Sobrang saya ko talaga, kanina tumatalon-talon pa ako na parang ewan,” she said, laughing. (I was so happy, I was jumping like a fool.)

When Bersola was injured, she was pulled out for the rest of the season and was forced to watch her team from the sidelines.

Instead of losing hope in her dreams as some athletes do after suffering from a terrible physical damage, Bersola, acted differently, undergoing every examination and therapy she needed, hoping that one day she would finally set foot on that volleyball court again.

“Well, dumating sa point na na-depress ako, pero dahil sobrang mahal ko lang kasi yung sport,” she said. “But that only lasted for two weeks, up until my operation. After that, wala na, positive lang lagi yung mindset ko at natuto akong maging optimistic.”

(It came to a point where I got depressed, but only because I love the sport so much. But that only lasted for two weeks, up until my operation. After that, I only had positive mindset and I learned to be optimistic.)

The process of her recovery was not easy, but the Sports Science major found some pillars of strength from the support she got from her teammates and the UP community.

Photo by Hannah Paguila, TNP Photographer.

Now that she’s back in action for UP with her new role as the team captain, Bersola promises to give her best while putting her previous injury behind her if ever she performs poorly.

When I look back at everything I’ve been through, I won’t even believe that I’m one of those people who c