MANILA, Philippines—University of the East claimed its first straight-sets victory of the UAAP Season 81 women's volleyball tournament on Saturday, after making quick work of Adamson University at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Lady Warriors rode the momentum of a come-from-behind win in the opening frame to take a 25-14, 25-19, 25-22 triumph over the Lady Falcons.
They improved to 3-9 in the tournament — already their most wins in a season since Season 74 when the Lady Warriors finished with a 4-10 win-loss record.
Three players scored in double digits for UE, led by Mean Mendrez with 15 points. Skipper Roselle Baliton scored 6 of her 14 points on kill blocks, while Judith Abil had 11 points, 18 digs, and 19 receptions in another typically solid all-around performance.
"Madami kaming game na nasayang, so buti na lang nakakuha kami ng pangatlong panalo," said UE's rookie head coach, Karl Dimaculangan.
UE showed what it was capable of in the opening set, when it overcame a slim 9-12 deficit to rout the Lady Falcons. Behind the superb service game of setter Lai Bendong, the Lady Warriors ended the frame on a 16-2 run to seize a comfortably victory.
The Lady Warriors finished with six aces in the set, and used the momentum from that win to cruise to victory in the second frame.
The Lady Falcons showed greater fight in a must-win third set, even knotting the count at 20-al after a block by MJ Igao on Mendrez sandwiched two errors by UE. But Mendrez made up for her miscue, converting back-to-back kills to put the Lady Warriors back in front, 22-21.
Adamson last threatened at 22-23, when Gracel Ave scored off the UE blockers. Unfortunately for the Lady Falcons, Chiara Permentilla was called for a net touch in the next rally, and Baliton came through with a huge block on rookie Trisha Genesis in the final exchange of the game.
"Before the game, sinabihan kami ni coach na i-enjoy ang laro, kasi last three games na namin," said UE libero Kath Arado, who was credited with 33 digs in the win.
The Lady Warriors had a 36-28 lead in kills, a 10-4 lead in blocks, and a 10-3 lead in service aces. Bendong finished with 24 excellent sets in the contest.
Bern Flora scored 10 points for the Lady Falcons, who fell to 1-11 in the season.
Adamson wraps up its elimination round campaign against Ateneo and University of the Philippines, while UE will play Ateneo and La Salle to end its tournament schedule.
For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.