Lady Eagles breeze past Lady Bulldogs
Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - January 31, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Holder Ateneo Lady Eagles outclassed National U in straight sets, 25-21, 25-19, 25-14 for a rousing start to their three-peat bid in the UAAP Season 77 women’s volleyball tourney yesterday at a packed Filoil Flying V Arena.

Two-time MVP Alyssa Valdez turned in her usual explosive game while the support crew also delivered as the Lady Eagles turned what was expected as a close fight into a one-sided affair.

Valdez punched in 18 points and had five excellent digs to lead the way and was backed up by Madeleine Madayag, who stepped up big time and accounted for 13.

A force in front of the net, Madayag came through with five blocks, including the match-clinching point.

Bea de Leon struck for 10 while Jia Morado had 33 excellent sets and Gizelle Tan, taking over at the libero position with Denden Lazaro already gone, had nine excellent receptions to complement Valdez.

Ateneo actually trailed NU at the start of each of the first two sets before getting its game going to seize a 2-0 lead. The Lady Eagles roared to a 15-8 upperhand in the third and coasted to the victory – their 19th straight dating back to Season 76.

“Coach Tai definitely made it possible. He’s always telling us even if we’re behind ‘heart strong, happy. And it really works. We really don’t know what was happening but we stayed calm and composed,” said Valdez.

Jaja Santiago was the lone player in double figures with 11 for NU.

Meanwhile, the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons nipped University of the East, 25-20, 25-13, 25-21.

UP had a balanced scoring with newbies Diana Carlos and Justine Dorog pacing with nine apiece, comebacking Kathy Bersola and Marian Buitre posting seven each, and rookie Isabel Molde adding five.

Over in the men’s division, holders Ateneo Blue Eagles waylaid University of Santo Tomas, 25-21, 25-18, 29-27, with last season’s MVP Marck Espejo dishing out 17 markers.

Rex Intal and Ysrael Marasigan complemented Espejo with their 11-point efforts.

Far Eastern U also emerged victorious over the UP Maroons, 25-23, 26-24, 25-23.

 

ACIRC ALYSSA VALDEZ ATENEO BLUE EAGLES COACH TAI DENDEN LAZARO DIANA CARLOS AND JUSTINE DOROG FAR EASTERN U FILOIL FLYING V ARENA GIZELLE TAN LADY EAGLES VALDEZ
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