PVL: Tigresses force rubber match for Finals seat

Mark Escarlote, ABS-CBN Sports

Posted at Oct 02 2019 06:53 PM

Janna Torres delivered when her number was called, leading University of Sto. Tomas to a 24-26, 25-18, 25-17, 25-17, victory over Ateneo De Manila University on Wednesday to force a rubber match in the best-of-three Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Collegiate Conference semifinals at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.

The freshman middle blocker exploded for 14 points as she wreaked havoc at the net with 10 attacks and three kill blocks along with one ace for the Tigresses, who came back from a four-set loss their UAAP Season 81 Final tormentors in the game that saw Torres play only two sets with only one point under her name.

UST recovered from a first set meltdown with strong showings in the next three as the Tigresses took advantage of the Lady Eagles’ 38 errors to force a deciding Game 3 on Sunday.

Rookie Imee Hernandez added 12 markers while Eya Laure had 10 points including three aces with two coming in the closing stretch of the fourth set for UST. EJ Laure and Rachelle Roldan combined for 14 points for the Espana-based squad.

The Tigresses actually had a chance to take the first frame after pushing at set point, 24-21, only to see Ateneo counterattack with five unanswered points.

The next two sets were easy picking for the Tigresses, before Ateneo showed tough resistance in the fourth. The Lady Eagles were able to erase a 6-10 deficit and tied it at 10 off an Erika Raagas kill.

UST regained the lead but Ateneo rookie Faith Nisperos cut it to 15-14 only to see the Lady Eagles shoot themselves on the foot after giving away five of the Tigresses’ last 10 points off their errors.

Vanie Gandler led Ateneo with 15 points including 13 off spikes, Nisperos had 12 markers while Jules Samonte and Raagas got 11 points each. Dani Ravena tallied 22 digs and 10 excellent receptions but committed the last of Ateneo's atrocious errors after pushing the ball out on a broken play.

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