PVL: Lady Eagles stave off Lady Knights in opener

Mark Escarlote, ABS-CBN Sports

Posted at Aug 17 2019 12:42 PM | Updated as of Aug 17 2019 02:07 PM

PVL: Lady Eagles stave off Lady Knights in opener 1

Ateneo de Manila University shook off a second set meltdown to weather Letran’s upset scare, 25-16, 22-25, 25-13, 25-20, on Saturday to open its Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Collegiate Conference Group A campaign on a high note at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.

Faith Nisperos made her presence felt in her debut for the reigning UAAP champions Lady Eagles with 19 points built on 17 attacks and a pair of aces.

Vanessa Gandler wrought havoc from the service line, landing seven of Ateneo’s 13 aces while hitting eight kills for 15 points. Gandler played an all-around game with 15 digs for the Lady Eagles, who played sans Ponggay Gaston who was under the weather while starting setter Deanna Wong skipped the whole tournament because of a shin injury.

“We have to adjust our rotation because Ponggay got sick kahapon talaga (yesterday). You know naman hindi kompleto 'yung lineup namin (our lineup is not complete) so we really have to make a way find a way with what we have,” said Ateneo coach Oliver Almadro.

Erika Raagas had 11 markers while Jules Samonte had eight points for Ateneo. Jaja Maraguinot tallied 24 excellent sets to help the Lady Eagles nail 49 attacks on top of seven markers. Dani Ravena had 23 digs and 10 excellent receptions for the Katipunan-based squad.

Gandler’s heavy serves fueled Ateneo’s comeback in the fourth frame from 12-14. Gandler tied the match at 14 from the service line before putting the Lady Eagles up, 16-14.

Ateneo scored off a Letran error, Gandler landed another ace before Nisperos closed the Lady Eagles’ seven-point swing with a kill. Ateneo controlled the game from there as Nisperos sealed the victory with a hit.

Letran showed grit in the second frame breaking a 22-22 deadlock with three straight points capped by Edma Musngi’s back-to-back aces.

Charm Simborio scored 16 points while Chamberlaine Cunada finished with 12 for the Lady Knights.

Meanwhile, the College of St. Benilde Lady Blazers flexed muscles in the opening game as they shocked the Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws in straight sets, 28-26, 25-22, 25-17. 

Klarissa Abriam and Chelsea Umali teamed up for Benilde as they posted 23 combined markers in sweeping the Lady Tams. 

This story was originally published on the ABS-CBN Sports website.