MANILA, Philippines— Adamson got petrified by University of the Philippines’ uncanny ability of springing surprises before securing a 25-20, 27-25, 23-25, 25-15 win that sent the Lady Falcons back to the Final Four in the UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball.
Lucille Almonte helped the Lady Falcons weather the storm by delivering 13 attacks as the Lady Falcons notched their ninth win in 13 games overall, enough to propel them to a semifinal showing for the first time in nine years.
“It’s hard to compete with a team that is no longer in contention. We somehow got complacent in the third set and were able to recover in the fourth. Good thing we delivered,” said Adamson assistant coach Rald Ricafort.
Trisha Tubu and Lorence Toring added 11 points apiece while Louie Romero had 23 excellent sets for the Lady Falcons, who will face the Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws in their final match in the eliminations.
“We were unable to accomplish this last season. But we will not stop here, there are more games to play,” said Almonte, who likewise contributed 20 digs and 10 receptions on the defensive end.
The Lady Falcons could still clinch the No. 2 spot and the twice-to-beat edge in the semifinals depending on the remaining games of National University and University of Santo Tomas.
Adopting a nothing-to-lose mentally, the Lady Maroons sprang back and knotted the count at 20, courtesy of a compelling Nina Ytang crosscourt smash as they put up a semblance of a fight in the first set.
Romero’s ace followed by a Rizza Cruz block and Tubu’s powerful strike pushed the Lady Falcons back on top before Romero fed Almonte at set point for another piercing down-the-line wallop.
Adamson again saw himself clawing for survival in the second set despite leading at the onset with Ethan Arce soaring on a spike and a UP ace equalizing the score at 20.
Ytang’s kill sent the Lady Maroons at set point only to lose advantage by allowing the Lady Falcons to even up matters on a Stephanie Bustrillo error.
Toring’s powerful attack at the middle and a spike by Ytang that went out of bounds sealed the set for Adamson.
The Lady Maroons again rallied from a big deficit in the third set and this time UP made it count.
Ytang’s crosscourt spike put them on a 21 standoff, after which Jum Marie Gayo scored on an ace and Jewel Encarnacion pummeled the Adamson side before Tubu’s service error allowed the Lady Maroons to forge ahead.
Bustrillo took flight and deflected Kate Santiago’s attack, ending the set in UP’s favor.
Their pride hurt, the Lady Falcons wasted no time racing to a large advantage, a lead the Lady Maroons weren’t able to hurdle in the fourth frame.
Ahead by 10, Romero’s push and a tip-in by Santiago followed by Tubu’s game-clinching kill crushed UP’s reversal motives for good.
Encarnacion and Ytang scored 15 points each for the Lady Maroons, who dropped their 10th straight game, spiraling further down with a 1-11 record.
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