La Salle vs. NU: UAAP Women’s Volleyball Clash

La-Salle-vs.-NU-UAAP-Women_s-Volleyball-Clash

Worried stiff in going through another meltdown, the National University (NU) Lady Bulldogs have gone back to the drawing board way ahead of their projected blockbuster showdown with defending champion La Salle.

Battling Against NU

In fact, the groundwork for their fast-approaching first meeting since relinquishing the title in last season’s championship series has begun much earlier prior to NU’s calculated beatdown of the University of the East (UE) Lady Warriors on Sunday in Season 86 of the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament.

Anxious that the stakes are high, another defeat for the Lady Bulldogs would not only halt a five-game winning ride. The Season 84 champions will likewise absorb psychological agony entering the second half of the tournament with losses to title contenders University of Santo Tomas (UST) Tigresses and probably the Lady Spikers.

“La Salle is a champion team, so we know it’s not going to be easy. We have to watch closely how they play and, at the same time, assess what we should do as a team,’’ said Bella Belen after leading the Lady Bulldogs with 11 points, 10 of them attacks, apart from 10 digs and five excellent receptions.

Preparing for the Match

Both NU and La Salle dropped their matches against the unbeaten Tigresses (5-0). “We’re very careful on the progression of the team with the right timing and we are always concerned about their physical well-being as we go deeper into the season,’’ said Miguel. ‘Significantly progressing’

The Lady Spikers also primed up for that clash and stayed tied with the Lady Bulldogs at 5-1 following a forceful 25-15, 25-17, 25-18 win over University of the Philippines (0-5) in the other game at Mall of Asia Arena.

Notable Performances

“NU has been significantly progressing since its straight-set defeat against UST at the start of the season, so we have to prepare hard and watch out,’’ said La Salle assistant coach Noel Orcullo.

Angel Canino scored 16 points and seven digs, four receptions and one ace while Shevana Laput added nine points and Thea Gagate had seven attacks for the Lady Spikers.

Focus on Defense

“We still suffer from lapses and we have a week to correct these mistakes before facing NU. Defense will play a crucial role. We have to work on our blocking,’’ said Canino. Shutting down the UP offense with nine blocks, the Lady Spikers were simply dominant at the net with 42 attack points against the Lady Maroons’ 34.

Team Contributions

“We have been focusing on specific skills that we could use against La Salle. We were able to execute them today and hopefully it works out when we play them,’’ said Miguel after utilizing all his players. Evangeline Alinsug backstopped Belen on ferociously attacking the Lady Warriors with nine points and Camilla Lamina delivered nine excellent sets.

For the second straight game, rookie setter Abegail Pono had her share of heroics with seven excellent sets, two attacks and one ace as backup to Lamina.

Conclusion

By fielding everybody, we realized that each one of us can really contribute. There are no star players on this team. When we progress, nobody gets left behind,’’ said Belen. They were able to restrain hawkish UE freshman Casiey Dongallo, who produced figures way below her average after scoring just 11 points, four digs and a block.

The La Salle-NU face-off on Sunday will be the first this season since the Lady Spikers swept the Bulldogs in their best-of-three finale last year.

 

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