UAAP: FEU keeps Final Four hopes alive with win over Ateneo in women’s volleyball
MANILA, Philippines–Far Eastern University gave itself a chance to remain in the hunt for a semifinal stint with a 25-21, 25-11, 22-25, 25-21 win on Wednesday at the UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball.
Christine Ubaldo choreographed the FEU offense with 10 excellent sets and contributed sevens points while Cheni Tagaod smashed her way to 15 points built around 12 attacks as the Lady Tamaraws chalked up their sixth victory in 12 games.
“We’re just focused on our three remaining games. It will be a bonus if ever we reached the Final Four,” said FEU coach Tina Salak.
Though a Final Four appearance no longer rests on their hands, the Lady Tamaraws continued to build up momentum in the final stretch of their season, with two more matches left in the second round.
They are bound to meet the University of Santo Tomas Tigresses and the Adamson Lady Falcons, both armed with a far better opportunity to make into the semifinals together with National University Lady Bulldogs.
Compared to FEU’s record, these three teams are tied at 8-3 behind solo leader La Salle (10-1).
“We just want to maximize our time and aim for a good finish,” said Salak, whose Lady Tamaraws improved after finishing last the previous season.
Faith Nisperos led Ateneo with 20 attacks and Lyann De Guzman added 10 points for the Blue Eagles, who absorbed their eighth defeat in 12 games and got swept by the Lady Tamaraws in both times they met this season.
The Lady Tamaraws were right on target early and hardly gave the Blue Eagles the opportunity to stage a comeback in the second set.
Ann Asis quickly put them way ahead, 7-2, while Jovelyn Fernandez and Ubaldo sustained the onslaught with the necessary backing from Tagaod and Alyzza Devosora that saw the FEU lead balloon to as much as 15.
From there on, the Lady Tamaraws simply coasted to claiming the set, fending off efforts by AC Miner and Nisperos to keep it narrow. Tagaod closed it out with an ace as FEU entered the third frame looking to sweep the enemy.
But the Blue Eagles refused to wilt under the weight of a two-set deficit, storming back in the succeeding set anchored on the timely intrusions of Nisperos and Joan Narit.
After the Lady Tamaraws stitched the gap, 23-22, on a Jean Asis deflection, Narit’s sprightly hit followed by another powerful smash by Nisperos extended the match.
Gerzel Petallo came alive in the fourth set for the Lady Tamaraws, knocking down a pair of spikes plus a push for them to forge ahead coming from a standoff at 20.
Asis again blocked a Nisperos attack and Ubaldo sealed the victory for FEU with an ace.
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