MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATED) University of Santo Tomas (UST) shook off some nervous moments in the opening set to sweep Far Eastern University (FEU) in their first game of the UAAP Season 84 women's volleyball tournament, Thursday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Golden Tigresses seized a 25-23, 25-20, 25-21, for a winning start to their campaign.
It was the first UAAP women's volleyball game played in over two years, after the cancellation of the Season 82 tournament due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
UST secured the straight-sets victory despite losing starting middle blocker Imee Hernandez to a left ankle sprain early in the opening set. They got solid outings from new team captain Eya Laure, who had 14 points, and Camille Victoria who tallied 12 points.
"Medyo shaky 'yung performance," admitted UST head coach Kungfu Reyes. "Nanalo naman, pero masyadong marami 'yung mga unforced error namin. 'Yun ang kailangan namin i-correct pero luckily nanalo kami in straight sets."
UST lost Hernandez to an injury midway through the opening set after the middle blocker twisted her left ankle upon landing. They still maintained control of the game and were up 24-19, before FEU made a late charge.
Errors by Laure and an ace by Jean Asis pushed the Lady Tams within one, 24-23, but Asis sent her last serve long to allow the Tigresses to escape.
UST raced to an 8-0 lead in the second frame before the Lady Tams mounted a comeback, even tying the set at 15 off a kill block on Victoria. But aces from KC Galdones gave UST some separation anew, and Laure scored back-to-back hits to seal the win.
Untimely errors were once again costly for FEU in the third set, with Ann Asis committing a miscue from the service line that wrapped up the match for the Tigresses.
UST had a 33-28 advantage in kills and a 7-6 advantage in service aces. FEU had more blocks, 7-4, but they also gave away 31 points through their unforced errors.
No player reached double-digits for the Lady Tams, with Ebon scoring nine points.
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