La Salle beats UE to sweep first round

By Camille B. Naredo,

Posted at Jan 15 2014 04:08 PM | Updated as of Jan 16 2014 12:37 AM

MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATED) The De La Salle Lady Spikers were clinical in their demolition of the University of the East (UE) Lady Warriors, 25-12, 25-18, and 25-20, as they completed a sweep of the first round of the UAAP Season 76 women’s volleyball tournament Wednesday at the Arena in San Juan.

The three-time defending champions have now won 23 straight games since last season and have yet to drop a single set in Season 76.

It took La Salle only one hour and 17 minutes to wrap up the match, and head coach Ramil de Jesus also managed to give precious minutes to his bench players.

La Salle got strong kills from Ara Galang, Abigail Marano and Cyd Demecillo in the first set as they raced to a 19-6 lead, prompting de Jesus to send in his reserves halfway through.

With La Salle’s second six playing in the second set, the Lady Warriors were able to make a run behind skipper Faith Bulan, and at one point cut the lead to two, 14-16.

A block from Mika Reyes and a crosscourt kill by Galang quickly restored order, and the Lady Spikers cruised the rest of the way as UE committed errors late that allowed La Salle to seal the set.

De Jesus fielded his first six again in the third and final set, although the Lady Warriors made a good account of themselves thanks in part to setter Abegail Ponon, whose steady serving allowed UE to rally from an 8-17 deficit and the Lady Warriors were within striking distance the rest of the way.

UE was never able to take the lead, however, as Demecillo and Marano scored on key hits, and Galang wrapped up the victory for La Salle with a thunderous spike that UE could not handle.

Despite the quick victory, Galang admitted that she was still not satisfied with how the Lady Spikers performed.

“Hindi pa ako contented kasi alam ko na hindi pa masyadong polished ang mga galaw namin,” said the third-year star, who finished with 13 points, including two aces.

“Siguro sa second round, mas babawiin namin at mas magte-training kami para maging maayos ang execution namin,” Galang added.

Desiree Cheng scored eight points for La Salle, while Marano scored six points. Reserves Carol Cerveza, Mary Joy Baron and Denice Tan also had solid games for the Lady Spikers.

UE has now lost 24 straight matches dating back to 2012. They have yet to win a set in Season 76.

Bulan led UE with 10 points, and Shaya Adorador added nine points for the Lady Warriors.