Justine Dorog hits the ball over the UE Lady Warriors defense in UP's UAAP Season 81 opener in the FilOil Flying V Centre, Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019.
Philstar.com/Kat Leandicho
UP outlasts UE in gritty five-set thriller
Luisa Morales (Philstar.com) - February 16, 2019 - 5:24pm

SAN JUAN, Philippines — The UP Lady Maroons outlasted the UE Lady Warriors in five sets, 25-12, 22-25, 23-25, 25-19, 15-12 in their UAAP Season 81 opener at the FilOil Flying V Centre, Saturday.

It looked to be a breeze for the Lady Maroons at the start of the match, with the Diliman squad dominating UE in almost every aspect.

The Lady Maroons cruised through the opening set, 25-12.

But the Lady Warriors weren't about to go down without a fight.

Coming alive in the second set, UE played at pace with the Lady Maroons. 

Taking advantage of UP's unforced errors, the Lady Warriors were able to even things out at one set a piece, 25-22.

With momentum on their side and UP's continuing struggles, Lady Warriors Judith Abil and Mean Menendrez had their way with the Lady Maroons.

Suddenly, the UE Lady Warriors had a 2-1 advantage, 25-23.

The Lady Maroons found themselves with their backs against the wall. Fortunately, the Diliman volleybelles were able to bounce back just in time.

Led by the heroics of stars Tots Carlos and Isa Molde, the Lady Maroons were able force the fifth set decider, 25-19.

Neither team wanted to give way in the final set, trading points back-and-forth. But returning spiker Justine Dorog, along with Carlos and Molde paved the way to a gritty 15-12 set victory.

Lady Maroon Jessma Ramos ended the action with an off the block hit.

Molde and Carlos led UP with 23 and 17 points, respectively while Dorog chipped in 12.

Meanwhile, veteran Abil paced the Lady Warriors with 20. 

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