UST Tigresses ease past NU Lady Bulldogs in UAAP volleyball

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UST Golden Tigresses celebrate after beating NU Lady Bulldogs in straight sets in the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament.–MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines–Cassie Carballo positioned herself on the right flank, saw a gaping hole and drove it down with all her might at match point.

University of Santo Tomas caught a big prey on its season opener, completely devouring National University in an unlikely manner, 25-19, 25-23, 25-22, on Sunday night in UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball.

Carballo’s attack capped a cohesive team effort by the Golden Tigresses, who visibly thrived in their first game in the post-Eya Laure era in stunning the perennial title contender Lady Bulldogs in straight sets.

SCHEDULE: UAAP Season 86 volleyball first round

“We made it a point not to pressure ourselves. We just tried to enjoy the match,” said Carballo after delivering 20 excellent sets aside from posting six points, including four aces.

Rookie Angeline Poyos and fellow spikers Regina Jurado and Jonna Perdido also rose to the occasion, filling in the huge gap left by Laure.

“I’m still feeling my way and I’m not satisfied. I have to make some adjustments in our next games,” said Poyos, who led the Tigresses with 16 points, including 13 kills, and three blocks.

“Ate Eya is gone but many of us managed to fill the spot,” said Poyos. “We just helped each other out to fill Ate Eya’s absence,” added Perdido

Carballo surprised the Lady Bulldogs with three straight aces midway into the final set, giving the Tigresses the upper hand, 11-9, before sending NU to a point of no return.

Jurado’s crosscourt kill at the Bulldogs’ backend sealed the first set for the Tigresses while Perdido scored three of her team’s last four points in the second frame prior to delivering the attack at set point.

“I wasn’t surprised with the way we played, but I was entirely surprised with the result,” said UST coach Kungfu Reyes, not expecting a quick victory against a formidable foe.

Alyssa Solomon compiled 16 points with 14 attacks and Evangeline Alinsug added 11 for the Lady Bulldogs while Season 84 rookie-MVP Michaela Belen scored nine points aside from 17 digs and nine receptions.

“I guess we’re just lucky enough to win this. Our hard work in practice just paid off,” said Reyes.



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Mary Margaret Banagua and Bianca Plaza likewise stabilized the Tigresses in the middle, combining for 13 points in assaulting the lair of the Bulldogs while libero Bernadett Pepito had 16 digs and 12 receptions.

“We lack height, so we rely more on our speed and effort,” said Jurado. “We also polish our plays by finding the holes in the defense of our opponents consistently,” added Carballo.





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