by Denver del Rosario
The University of the Philippines Lady Maroons faltered against the De La Salle University Lady Spikers in four sets, 14-25, 13-25, 25-19, 20-25, today in the UAAP 78 women’s volleyball tournament at the PhilSports Arena.
The Lady Maroons tried to put up a scare as they snatched the third set, but the Lady Spikers played unfazed and sealed the win in the fourth set.
The Diliman-based squad struggled with their reception, with La Salle tallying 12 service aces.
Nicole Tiamzon, who was fielded in as a setter in the third and fourth set, said the Lady Maroons struggled with the Lady Spikers’ fast plays.
“’Yung gitna, as in di namin makuha-kuha, dahil ang bilis ng play nila (We couldn’t get the middle attacks from DLSU because of their fast plays),” Tiamzon said.
Middle blocker Mary Joy Baron spearheaded the onslaught for DLSU, tallying 17 points, while Ara Galang and Tine Tiamzon contributed 13 points each.
Meanwhile, rookies Isa Molde and Justine Dorog led UP with 15 and 10 points, respectively.
The host school started slow in the first set as the Lady Spikers took the lead going into the first technical timeout, 6-8, courtesy of an attack and an ace from Carol Cerveza.
The Lady Maroons struggled to find their rhythm as the Taft-based squad found points from middle blockers Baron and Mika Reyes, 8-16.
UP’s Tiamzon tried to rally her team as she scored with an attack, but barrage of attacks from Galang and Reyes sealed the set for DLSU, 14-25.
The Lady Maroons exacted their slow start from the first set as the Lady Spikers led early, 2-8.
Tine Tiamzon took charge for the Taft-based squad as she scored back-to-back hits, arriving first at the second TTO, 7-16.
The Diliman-based squad failed to find their groove as back-to-back hits from Galang ended the set, 13-25.
UP played better in the third set, keeping La Salle close going into the first TTO, 7-8. With Nicole Tiamzon setting, the Lady Maroons attacked better, with Diana Carlos, Molde, and Dorog combining for a 16-12 lead.
An attack from Kathy Bersola set her team at set point, ending with a Galang error, 25-19.
In the fourth set, the Taft-based squad came composed as they took the lead going into the first TTO, 3-8, courtesy of back-to-back hits and a block from Mika Reyes. Marian Buitre and Molde tried to rally the Lady Maroons as they scored from attacks, 16-21.
However, it was too late as Baron sealed the victory for the Lady Spikers, 20-25.
With the loss, UP now holds a 1-1 win-loss card.
The Lady Maroons will next face the defending champion Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles next Sunday.