by Antonio Lorenzo Regondola
The Ateneo de Manila University started 2014 with a bang as they handily disposed the University of the Philippines 25-20, 25-21, 25-13 in UAAP women’s volleyball action Saturday at the Filoil Flying V Arena.
Lady Eagles star Alyssa Valdez paced her team with a game high 24 points, 20 of which came from attacks. Amy Ahomiro added 14 while Ana Gopico chipped in 10.
The Lady Maroons, who remains searching for their first win, relied on frontliner Katherine Bersola’s 12 points, four coming from blocks. No other Maroon scored double figures. Angeli Araneta was their next highest scorer with six points.
UP stumbled out of the gates and fell behind 8-4 in the first set. They kept the game close but never narrowed the gap to less than four points the whole set since.
The second set looked better for UP as they took an early 7-6 lead. But Ateneo rung up five straight points with a Margarita Tejada ace and an Ahomiro attack to lead 11-7.
UP did not go down quickly. Facing a 20-14 hole, they scored five unanswered points of their own but Ateneo took control once more. Valdez and Gopico scored the last three points of the set to clinch it for the Lady Eagles.
Then the Lady Maroons seemed to lose steam in the third set as the Lady Eagle squad displayed an even more dominant showing.
With a 3-2 lead, they tallied six straight, three courtesy of Valdez, to take a 9-2 lead and never looked back.
UP trailed 19-13 late in the set when Ateneo unleashed another Eagle attack, winning six straight points to end the set and the match.
The Lady Eagles’ scorching offense was the story of the first Battle of Katipunan this season: 48 of their 75 total points came from attacks, neutralizing the 27 errors they committed.
UP meanwhile, only got six points from blocks. Twenty-seven of their 54 total points scored came off opponents’ miscues; only 18 came from attacks.
The win improves the Lady Eagles’ win-loss record to 4-1, while the Lady Maroons dropped to 0-5.
UP will continue to hunt for its first win this Wednesday against the National University Lady Bulldogs at the FilOil Arena.