Lady Maroons, Tams take UAAP volleyball opener
Kristina Villanueva (The Philippine Star) - February 17, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — University of the Philippines ran into trouble but toughened up in the last two sets, thwarting University of the East, 25-12, 22-25, 23-25, 25-19, 15-12, to gain a headstart in the UAAP season 81 women’s volleyball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Arena.

The Lady Maroons averted another meltdown in the fourth set after collapsing in the third then turned to Isa Molde, Tots Carlos, Justine Dorog and Jessma Ramos in the homestretch of the fifth to finally put away the Lady Warriors.

“As I said before, nothing comes easy. We win but we have to struggle sometimes,” said UP coach Godfrey Okumu.

“The sets we won, we won with ease but the ones we lost, we lost struggling so I hope we put this behind us and move forward.”

Molde fired 23 points she topped with 10 excellent receptions. Carlos dropped 17 points, Dorog turned an all-around performance of 12 points, 18 digs and seven excellent receptions while Ramos played in the last two sets and finished with four points, two of them in the fifth.

Playmaker Ayel Estrañero dished out 44 excellent sets and scored two on aces for UP.

Judith Abil swung two off-the-block hits, the last saving a match point, to keep the Lady Warriors alive at endgame and finished with 20 points while Mary Mendrez and Seth Rodriguez combined for 15.

Reigning Best Digger and Best Receiver Kath Arado produced 32 digs and 18 excellent receptions for UE.

Far Eastern stumbled in the opening set but found its stride later on, thumping rookie-laden National U 22-25, 25-19, 25-19, 25-12, to also enter the win column.

“‘Yung NU, unfamiliar pa ‘yung team, so nagulat nang kaunti kaya nagkaroon ng adjustment sa second set,” said Lady Tamaraws coach George Pascua.

Rookie Lycha Ebon led the way for FEU with 13 points, Heather Guino-o and Celine Domingo each had 11 while Jerrili Malabanan poured in 10.

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