UP celebrates after scoring against UE. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines – The University of the Philippines (UP) Lady Maroons crushed the University of the East (UE) in straight sets to doom the Lady Warriors to another winless UAAP season Sunday at the Arena in San Juan.
Behind a strong net defense, the Lady Maroons sailed to a 25-16, 25-21, and 25-18 victory, only encountering trouble in the second set.
It was UP’s second consecutive win of the season, following their four-set upset of the Far Eastern University (FEU) last week.
They ended the UAAP Season 76 women’s volleyball tournament with a 3-11 record, winning back-to-back games for the first time since 2010.
Team captain Angeli Araneta, potentially playing in her last game, scored 15 points on 11 attacks, two blocks and two aces, and was serenaded with chants of “one more year” by her teammates after the game.
Araneta has the option of playing her fifth year for UP in Season 77.
“Sobrang proud ako sa team, s’yempre, kahit hind namin narating ‘yung Final Four,” said Araneta. “Sobrang dami ng improvement ng team, at sobrang saya na natapos namin ‘yung season with a win.”
The Lady Maroons cruised to victory in Set 1 behind their dominant blocking, which clearly frustrated UE’s spikers, including veteran Faith Bulan who was repeatedly sent back by UP setter Nicole Tiamzon.
UE threatened in the second set, climbing back from a 15-20 deficit to take a brief 21-20 lead as Bulan asserted herself while UE setter Abi Ponon surprised UP with two quick attacks.
But UP tied the game when UE’s Cielo Ramos committed a service error, and then Kathy Bersola re-entered the game and took over, scoring the last three points for UP.
The Lady Maroons had little trouble in the third and final set, as UE killed their own momentum by committing unforced errors while UP got timely hits from not only Araneta and Bersola, but Alyssa Layug and Monica Ortiz as well.
Bersola finished the game with nine points, while Layug and Ortiz each had six points.
In her final game for UE, Bulan finished with 12 points, while Shaya Adorador topscored with 13. But the Lady Warriors gave away 29 points off unforced errors, and UP crushed them in the blocking department, 10-2.
UE finished with a 0-14 record for the second consecutive season. They have now lost 31 straight UAAP games.