MANILA, Philippines — National University (NU) fought back from a numbing second set to subdue Far Easter University (FEU) in four sets, 25-22, 21-25, 25-18, 26-24, in Game 1 of the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference Finals on Wednesday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
The Lady Bulldogs cashed it on the Lady Tamaraws' error late in the fourth set in order to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-3 series.
The Lady Bulldogs broke down in the face of the Lady Tams’ fierce comeback in the fourth, losing a four-point lead. They managed to recover in the deuce game, thanks to a service error and a mishit by FEU that allowed NU to seal the set and the match.
Jaja Santiago lived up to the hype and fired 23 hits, including 15 attack points and four blocks, as the Lady Bulldogs moved a win from sweeping the season-ending conference of the league.
They go for the clincher on Saturday.
NU survived FEU’s gritty stand in the opening set, battling through a series of ties before unleashing a strong finishing kick, breaking away from a 22-count with a sweep of the last three points, the last two on kill blocks by Santiago and setter Jasmine Nabor.
The Lady Bulldogs also rallied from 1-6 down in the second frame but this time, the Lady Tams returned the favor, battling back from 16-20 down to win nine of the next 10 points, including five straight to steal the frame.
Jeanette Villareal anchored FEU’s fiery second set windup with three straight aces with Heather Anne Guinoo capping the big finish with a kill to level the match.
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