Sports Unlimited: UAAP Women’s Volleyball Finals

By Jasmine Perez, Multimedia producer, Sports Unlimited

Posted at Mar 08 2012 04:56 PM | Updated as of Mar 19 2012 09:27 PM

Game one of the finals between the Lady Blue Eagles and DLSU Lady Spikers saw Ateneo flash the red light on De La Salle’s 14-game winning streak. This is the first trip to the finals after 34 years for the Lady Blue Eagles and dealing with the defending champ their first defeat for the season, more than fired them up for the second game.

But if the Eagles were fired up, the Lady Spikers went ballistic on their return to the court. This time, DLSU took out all that was in their arsenal to make sure that their first loss would be their last.

The crowd was just as ready as the athletes for the game. Everybody wore their green for La Salle and blue for Ateneo. The noise inside the arena was just crazy. Everyone was on the edge of their seats with each volley, waiting to cheer each score for their team.

In the first set, Ateneo roared off to the lead, taking advantage of DLSU’s service errors. Lady Eagle Alyssa Valdez powered Ateneo to winning the first set 25-23 with her solid spikes.

The Lady Spikers regrouped and became more aggressive in the second set.

Errors on the side of the Lady Eagles and the onslaught of the offense strikes of the Lady Spikers slipped through the crack of Ateneo’s once solid defense.
DLSU claimed the second set.

The third set saw Ateneo’s attempt to bounce back. They recorded their highest lead at 16-10 but service errors again stopped the Lady Eagles. The towering defensive blocks of the Lady Spikers kept the Eagles from running away with the set. Before long the defending champs caught up with ADMU.
It was an exciting exchange as the Lady Spikers inched their way to the lead, taking the set way from the Eagles’ claws by just a breath, 26 to 24.

In the fourth set, DLSU made sure that Alyssa Valdez’s spikes will not pass through their defenses successfully blocking her shots and preventing the Lady Eagles from running away with the lead. La Salle’s Michelle Gumabao’s blocks and spikes helped maneuver the Lady Spikers to a commanding lead.

With the young Ateneo squad’s confidence crumbling, the Archers aimed for the kill and sealed game #2 win for La Salle, 25-18!

With De La Salle University winning the second game of the final, it's back to the San Juan Arena for game 3 as the Ateneo Lady Eagles try to keep their bid for the championship alive.

The first set was an indication of things to come for the young Ateneo team.

The veteran La Salle spikers just launched wave after wave of assault, setting the tempo and along the way cracking the confidence of the Lady Eagles.
The opening set ended with 25 to 16, in favor of DLSU.

Second set saw Atenean Alyssa Valdez’s attempts to launch her own powerful spikes for the team but La Salle 's defense, led by the towering looker Michelle Gumabao, was already programmed to block her tries. Ateneo strived gallantly to trim down La Salle 's lead but to no avail, second set ended with 25 to 22, again for the Lady Spikers.

With the 74th UAAP season crown slipping through the claws of the Lady Eagles, the De La Salle Lady Spikers simply aimed for the kill in the third set, as Ateneo's confidence started to crumble along with their defense on the weight of La Salle's attacks.

In the end, DLSU's tenacity and solid teamwork clipped the wings of the Lady Eagles, ending the third set with a crushing 25 to 13 defeat of Ateneo.

De La Salle University, led by their team captain and season MVP Cha Cruz, was UAAP volleyball champion. Another exciting women's volleyball season has just ended with the color green prevailing on the court once again.

March 3, 2012