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Sports

Lady Bulldogs stay perfect in UAAP volley

John Bryan Ulanday - The Philippine Star
Lady Bulldogs stay perfect in UAAP volley
Jen Nierva.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — National U bucked a slow start and scored a repeat win over reigning champion Ateneo, 18-25, 25-20, 25-19, 25-18, to stay unscathed in the UAAP Season 84 women’s volleyball tilt at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

The triumvirate of Mhicaela Belen, Princess Robles and Alyssa Solomon showed the way as the Lady Bulldogs pulled off a reverse sweep after dropping the opening salvo to boost their Final Four drive with a pristine 9-0 card.

Super rookie Belen dropped a triple-double of 19 points, 21 receptions and 10 digs while Solomon (16) and skipper Robles (14) chipped in for NU, which in the process moved five games away from clinching an outright finals berth.

Belen, Robles and Solomon, who are top three players in spiking percentage this season, also combined for 46 attack points to outclass the entire Blue Eagles (41) by themselves alone.

Backstopping them were UAAP top setter Camilla Lamina (22 excellent sets) and No. 1 receiver Jennifer Nierva with 19 digs and 12 receptions.

“Wake-up call din sa amin ito na kailangan pa naming maglaro nang mas-maayos. We need to work for every point, every set. We can’t afford to be complacent,” said coach Karl Dimaculangan as NU surrendered only its third set all season-long.

“Ateneo pa rin ‘yung kalaban namin. Kahit anong standing nila, Ateneo pa rin ‘yun. Kailangan pa rin namin mag-trabaho nang maayos palagi,” he added.

Vanie Gandler put up a season-high 19 points while ace spiker Faith Nisperos bled for only 11 as Ateneo slipped to 4-5 at No. 5 spot.

Earlier, Adamson smothered winless University of the East, 25-16, 25-14, 25-9, for a momentary solo fourth spot with a 5-4 slate behind Trisha Genesis’ 13 markers. UE remained winless at 0-9.

In the third game, Eya Laure went for 25 points as Santo Tomas (7-2) tightened its grip of second spot with a 25-20, 18-25, 26-24, 25-23 win over University of the Philippines (4-5).

NATIONAL U

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