UAAP: Ateneo snaps 4-game slide at UP's expense


Posted at Mar 19 2023 05:04 PM | Updated as of Mar 19 2023 05:36 PM

Ateneo's Faith Nisperos attacks the UP defense in their UAAP Season 85 game. UAAP Media.
Ateneo's Faith Nisperos attacks the UP defense in their UAAP Season 85 game. UAAP Media.

MANILA (UPDATED) -- Ateneo de Manila University grabbed its second win of UAAP Season 85 by sweeping the University of the Philippines, 25-16, 25-20, 25-22, on Sunday afternoon at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.

The Blue Eagles arrested a four-game slide in the women's volleyball tournament to end the first round with a 2-5 win-loss record. They out-gunned their Katipunan neighbors in the match, firing 40 kills to only 28 for UP.

"It's been quite a tough first round, but hopefully we can use this win as momentum coming into the second round," said Ateneo's Vanie Gandler, who earned Player of the Game honors after a 17-point outing built on 13 kills, two blocks, and two aces. 

"We missed this feeling. I thank the players for accepting the challenge because I challenged them to take pride and have a strong character in this game no matter what," said Ateneo head coach Oliver Almadro.

Faith Nisperos added 14 points on 12 hits and two aces, along with five digs. 

After cruising to a Set 1 triumph, the Blue Eagles needed to out-play UP in the closing stretch of the second frame. They snatched the lead for good, 19-18, when Gandler conspired with Joan Narit to reject Kyrzten Cabasac at the net. The Fighting Maroons last threatened when a Gandler service error made it 21-20, but UP failed to capitalize as Marianne Sotomil also sent her next serve short to keep Ateneo in control, 22-20. 

AC Miner nailed back-to-back hits before Nisperos' off-the-block attack wrapped up the second set for the Blue Eagles.

Ateneo benefited from a miscue by UP in Set 3 that gave them a 23-21 advantage, and Nisperos uncorked a crosscourt attack to put her team at match point, 24-21. An error by Ateneo briefly kept the Fighting Maroons alive, but Nisperos again came through with a hit off the UP blockers to seal the deal in an hour and 31 minutes. 

The Fighting Maroons absorbed a third straight loss for a 1-5 win-loss slate. 

Jewel Encarnacion led UP with 11 points in a losing effort.