La Salle tears down NU’s aura of invincibility to sweep Round 1

De La Salle University finally got one over National University, dominating its Season 84 finals tormentor, 25-10, 25-15, 25-21, to sweep the UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball tournament first round at the SM Mall of Asia Arena, Wednesday.

The Lady Bulldogs went 4-0 against the Lady Spikers in Season 84 – all by straight sets – including the finals series.

De La Salle stands alone at the top with a pristine 7-0 mark heading into the second round starting Saturday.   NU joined Adamson University and University of Santo Tomas in second to fourth spots at 5-2.

“Hindi ko inaasahan na mai-straight sets namin sila. Sabi ko nga sa mga bata before pumasok yung First Six, stick to the plan kung ano yung inaral natin, doon  tayo huwag tayong umalis doon. At least nag-click and they played with pride,” shared interim head coach Noel Orcullo.

“Hindi pwedeng magpapaintimidate tayo dahil nung last year hindi tayo nakakuha ng set. Sabi ko different team na tayo ngayon hindi na kagaya nung Season 84.”

The Lady Spikers asserted their might early in the match with two separate eight unanswered points in the first to blow NU out, 25-10.

Second frame was no different as De La Salle doubled on the Lady Bulldogs at the second technical timeout, 16-8, en route to the commanding 2-0 lead.

NU though was able to keep in step with the Lady Spikers in the third, knotting things out at 16, but Jolina Dela Cruz attacked from the pipe, Mars Alba went 1-2 with a dump, before Fifi Sharma scored with a quick for a 3-0 spurt that proved to be the difference as both teams traded points down the stretch.

After Mhicaela Belen kept the Lady Bulldogs in the match with an off-the-block kill, Dela Cruz finished the match for De La Salle with a crosscourt hit.

Alba tossed 20 excellent sets that resulted in three Lady Spikers in double figures led by Angel Canino’s 14 points with eight excellent receptions.

Sharma added 12 points on 10 attacks, a block, and an ace, while Dela Cruz produced 11 points to go with 10 digs.

Thea Gagate and Leila Cruz took care of half of De La Salle’s 12 blocks with three apiece to finish with nine and six points, respectively.