MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATED) The University of the Philippines (UP) snapped a four-game slide in emphatic fashion, sweeping University of the East (UE) on Thursday afternoon at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Fighting Maroons showed their poise in tight finishes in the first two frames, then dominated the third for a 25-23, 26-24, 25-17 victory.
It was a much needed win for the Fighting Maroons, as they improved to 4-4 in the UAAP Season 84 women's volleyball tournament, tying Adamson University for a share of fourth place. The Lady Warriors remain winless in the competition at 0-8.
"It has been a while," noted UP head coach Godfrey Okumu, whose players won their first three matches before slumping to four straight defeats. "We struggled [but] we have to fight. The last couple of games, we didn't play well."
"I hope that from now on, we'll continue fighting and give better results like today," he added.
Rookie Alyssa Bertolano led the way for UP with 14 points on 13 kills, while Niña Ytang added 13 points and team captain Jewel Encarnacion added 10 markers. UP had 41 kills against only 23 for UE, allowing them to survive their 32 unforced errors.
The Fighting Maroons out-played UE down the stretch of the first and second sets, surviving their error-prone ways to hack out slim wins.
The second frame saw UE save a set point when UP setter Marianne Sotomil sent a serve to the net -- their 13th miscue of the set -- allowing the Lady Warriors to force an extension, 24-24. But Bertolano and Encarnacion uncorked back-to-back hits to give the Maroons a 2-0 lead.
Riding the momentum of that win, UP surged to a 16-8 lead in Set 3 and were not threatened the rest of the way. An attack error by UE's Ja Lana ended the match after an hour and 38 minutes.
Lia Pegal had eight points for the Lady Warriors, but Lana was held in check for most of the match as she converted just six of 40 hits and scored seven points. Not helping UE's cause was their 27 unforced errors.