Tigresses gain twice-to-beat edge
Kristina Villanueva (The Philippine Star) - May 2, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — University of Santo Tomas displayed razor-sharp focus as it stunned reigning three-time champion La Salle, 25-14, 25-23, 23-25, 25-19, to secure the second seed and arm itself with the twice-to-beat semis advantage in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan yesterday.

Gaining a playoff shot as the Lady Spikers stumbled to No. 4 Far Eastern U Lady Tams on the last day of the elims, the Tigresses did not waste the opportunity as they frustrated the DLSU side to secure the Top Two bonus.

Graduating spiker Sisi Rondina powered UST with 29 points built on 25 attacks, two blocks and two aces, sizzling in the homestretch of the fourth set for the Tigresses to slowly pull away and secure the win.

“We were just focused. I just guided the younger players. When La Salle won the third set, I just told my teammates that we just need to play the way we did in the first two sets. They were very responsive and they played well,” said Rondina.

Rondina drew cheers of “MVP!” numerous times in the match and for the last time as she was serving at 23-17 in the fourth set.

She rewarded the doting crowd with an ace for the match point.

And though Des Clemente fanned the hopes of the Lady Spikers on a quick attack for the save, Eya Laure smacked a crosscourt hit for the game-winning point.

“They are just happy,” said Rondina, when asked about how she felt about the MVP chants that resonated in the venue.

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