The Lady Spikers weathered Ateneo’s hot emotional start to beat back their blue counterparts and win 3-1. Valdez was unstoppable in the 1st set, scoring repeatedly on attacks which Ferrer would set a few feet from the net to elude our blockers. We took the second 25-21, but were in danger of dropping the 3rd when we trailed 22-24, but a rookie came to the rescue. A smash by Mika Reyes plus 2 service aces gave us the lead, and the Lady Spikers asserted their experience as they won pulling away, 25-18. This time, another rookie, Ara Galang, scored consecutively to give us a sizeable lead which fnally deflated the erstwhile high flying challengers.
The Lady Spikers made the necessary adjustments after the 1st set, did a better job of reading the Ateneo plays, getting to the right position for the blocks at the net, improved their floor coverage, and varied their attacks. They muzzled Valdez in the last 2 sets, forcing Gorayeb to replace her with de Jesus. The high spirits of the blue team in the first 2 sets turned into worried frowns as the 4th set wore on, and finally fizzled as our team piled on the pressure.
That comeback from 6 points down truly showed the heart of a champion.
Momentum is now clearly on our side, and the Lady Spikers validated their position as the team atop the UAAP hierarchy. This doesn’t look like the year they will yield this hard won position. They’ve seen the best their foes can dish out, tossed it back with interest, and they will probably close it out on Wednesday.