FEU bucks slow start to sweep UST

By Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Feb 02 2014 06:06 PM | Updated as of Feb 03 2014 02:06 AM

MANILA, Philippines – The Far Eastern University (FEU) Lady Tamaraws bucked an error-prone start to the first set and swept the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Tigresses in their second-round encounter in the UAAP Season 76 women’s volleyball tournament.

After committing three consecutive errors to start the match, FEU rallied to take the opening set from UST and then cruised in the next two sets, 26-24, 25-18, and 25-18.

Libero Christine Agno sparked FEU’s excellent floor defense, while Remy Palma and Genevieve Casugod provided a wall at the net that clearly rattled the UST spikers, especially in the second and third sets.

With FEU committing a variety of errors on offense, UST took an early 5-1 lead and led by as much as six points, 16-10, in Set 1.

But FEU was able to bounce back thanks to a variety of offspeed hits from Bernadeth Pons and Toni Basas, while the Lady Tamaraws’ blocking began to discourage the Tigresses.

After trailing by four, 16-20, FEU unleashed a 6-0 blast that allowed them to seize a 22-20 lead. Jem Gutierrez came up with back-to-back kills that allowed UST to tie the game, but FEU quickly regained the lead when Mela Tunay committed a hitting error, then reached set point on a Sam Dawson down-the-line kill.

UST was able to save a set point thanks again to Gutierrez, and Jessy de Leon was able to tie the game on an over-reception from FEU. The Lady Tamaraws were the steadier team, however, as Dawson beat the UST blockers, and a Palma service ace sealed the Set 1 win.

The Set 1 loss seemed to deflate the Tigresses, who could not get a rhythm offensively in the next two sets. Tunay, Gutierrez and Pam Lastimosa – UST’s most reliable scorers – were all repeatedly denied by the FEU blockers, while the Tigresses’ floor defense struggled all game to keep up with the Lady Tamaraws’ varied attacks.

The rookie Pons topscored for FEU with 12 points on 11 attacks and one service ace, while Basas added 10 markers.

No player finished in double digits for UST, with Gutierrez tallying nine points.

FEU hiked their record to 6-5, allowing them to tighten their grip on the fourth spot in the league standings.