MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATED) National University (NU) stayed alive in the race to the Final 4, after powering past Adamson University in four sets in the UAAP Season 81 women's volleyball on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Lady Bulldogs bounced back from a loss in a marathon second set to take down the Lady Falcons, 28-26, 30-32, 25-21, 25-22, thus snapping a three-game losing streak.
They hiked their record to 3-7, and stayed alive in the hunt for a semifinals spot. Moreover, they handed the Lady Falcons a sixth consecutive defeat. At 1-9, Adamson has now been formally eliminated from the Final 4 race.
"Happy kami dahil ang tagal naming hindi nagkaroon ng panalo," said NU coach Norman Miguel, whose last win was against University of the Philippines on March 13.
"Masaya, kasi noong nagkaroon kami ng changes sa system namin. Although may mga lapses pa rin, I'm hoping na sa mga next game namin, magiging maayos ang galaw namin with the changes," he added.
Miguel switched rookie Ivy Lacsina to the middle blocker position, after having played as a wing spiker for most of the season. Gel Luceno, meanwhile, shifted to the opposite position, while veteran Audrey Paran is now playing as an open hitter.
The move paid off, as Lacsina tallied 15 points, while rookie ace Cess Robles contributed 14 markers. Veteran middle blocker Roselyn Doria led the team in scoring with 18 points. NU, as a team, put up 15 aces against Adamson, and survived despite committing 44 unforced errors.
Rookie libero Jennifer Nierva anchored NU's floor defense, with 44 digs and 33 excellent receptions.
Though Adamson came as close as one point, 19-20, off an Eli Soyud hit, the Lady Bulldogs survived as the Lady Falcons committed three straight errors. A block by Doria on Joy Dacoron put NU at set point, 24-19. A hit and an ace by Soyud kept Adamson alive, but she committed a service error to gift the win to the Lady Bulldogs.
NU surged ahead, 21-15, in the fourth set before Adamson mounted a last-ditch comeback behind Bern Flora. They got to within two points, at 21-23 and again at 22-24, but the Lady Bulldogs would not be denied. Robles muscled a hit past Soyud and Dacoron to wrap up the match after two hours and 13 minutes.
"Kung eager sila manalo, mas eager kami kasi naghahanap kami ng panalo," said Doria, who had 5 of their 15 aces. "Lahat ng sakripisyo namin sa training, na-apply namin."
Flora led the Lady Falcons with 16 points on 12 kills and 4 aces, while Chiara Permentilla contributed 14 points and Soyud finished with 12. Libero Thang Ponce had 22 digs and 10 excellent receptions.
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