MANILA, Philippines -- Ateneo bucked the absence of libero Denden Lazaro as it waylaid a listless Southwestern U, 25-13, 25-18, 25-20, Sunday to get back on track in the Shakey's V-league Season 11-1st Confercence at The Arena in San Juan City.
The Lady Eagles didn't need Lazaro, who sat this one out because she has an examination for medical school, and her pesky defending that much as it made shortwork of the reigning Cebu champion in just a little over an hour.
The Loyola-based lady spikers did the digging and receiving by committee with Michelle Morente, Johnna Maraginot and Kassandra Gequillana leading the way in doing most of the dirty work.
"It's defending by committee," said Ateneo assistant coach Parley Tupas, who is handling the reins in the absence of Thai head coach Anusorn "Tai" Bundit, who steered the Lady Eagles to the improbably title run in the last UAAP season, in Filipino.
Amy Ahomiro paced the reigning UAAP champion with 13 hits she laced with a pair of ace while Gequillana, Morente and collegiate hotshot Alyssa Valdez chipped in nine, nine and seven hits, respectively.
The win thus sent the Lady Eagles to their second win in three starts while easing the pain of a stinging 21-25, 25-16, 17-25, 25-20, 15-13 defeat at the hands of the Arellano U Lady Chiefs last week.
It also pushed Ateneo to a tie for second spot in Group A along with Adamson, a full game behind Arellano U, the reigning NCAA runner-up who zoomed to the top by seizing its first three games.
One more win, and the Lady Eagles will clinch a spot in the quarterfinals where it they will join early entrants the Lady Chiefs.
The Lady Cobras fell to their fourth straight defeat against a lone loss.