by Antonio Lorenzo Regondola
The battle between Adamson University and the University of the Philippines was the first five-setter of the UAAP Season 76, and both teams did not disappoint.
After three close sets, the Lady Maroons lost steam and handed the Lady Falcons a 23-25, 25-22, 25-27, 25-18, 15-8 win in the UAAP Women’s Volleyball Tournament Sunday at the Filoil Flying V Arena.
Adamson soared high behind Shiela Pineda’s 21 points but it was Luisa Zapanta’s 17 which made the biggest lift during the crucial moments of the final two sets. Faye Guevara added 16 of her own, including two aces and a block.
Maroons’ skipper Angeli Araneta paced UP with 18 points, 15 of which came from attacks. Katherine Bersola had 17 points and three blocks. Bersola was vital in the frontline, which scored nine points off blocks.
With the Falcons up 23-22 late in the opening frame, the Maroons seized the set after scoring three straight points, capped off by a Sheeka Espinosa ace.
UP carried its strong play over to the second set and extended their lead 16-13 courtesy of Bersola. But Adamson rallied back, scoring four unanswered points right after the technical timeout to inch past the Maroons, 17-16. The Falcons then scored four of the last five points to take the second frame.
Adamson had an early 11-4 lead in the middle of the third when UP strung together five consecutive scores to cut the lead to two, 11-9.
With the Maroons trailing 24-23 late in the third set, Araneta scored on an attack to tie the score. She then followed it up with an ace to grab the lead and steal the set.
The Falcons seized control in the fourth and fifth sets. Pineda, Zapanta, and Amanda Villanueva led the assault, winning the final two cantos comfortably ahead by seven points.
Up next for the Maroons are the Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws on Wednesday, December 11 at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan.