Not something you see often. Lady Spikers start UAAP season 0-1

The Lady Spikers’ bid for a third-straight title got off on the wrong foot yesterday as the lost to the UST Tigresses in 5 sets, 25-22, 25-13, 12-25, 21-25, 15-9.

This is just La Salle’s third elimination round loss in the last four years. Incidentally, it was also UST who gave them their last defeat way back in February 14, 2010.

Despite La Salle’s open spikers’ Wensh Tiu and Ara Galang’s smart plays and power attacks, unforced errors gave UST a steady lead with reliable offence points coming from Ortiz, Banaticla and Captain Judy Caballejo. Newly-lodged setter, Loren Lantin finished the set with a drop ball, 22-25.

The Lady Spikers continued to suffer from their shaky performance with UST pulling away from an 11-all lock. Blocks coming from La Salle managed to give them two more points in the set while the Caballejo-Banaticla-Ortiz triad muscled their way to a 2-set advantage against La Salle, 13-25.

Not to be outdone, La Salle regained their pace with Reyes’ service ace establishing a 4-2 lead. UST’s Lantin block managed to cut down the lead at 7-5, but Ara Galang was set on pulling away with down the line attacks and a service ace at 10-5. Turned tables manifested as the Tigresses underwent unforced errors by their main attackers giving La Salle a 10-point lead at 20-10 with Michele Gumabao and Captain Abigail Maraño securing two offensive blocks. Maraño’s a-quick and UST’s Ingrid Reyes’ net error closed the set at 25-12.

La Salle continued their run with Galang and Reyes’ attack points at 4-0. Things started to be unstable for both teams at the middle of the set with an exchange of service and dig errors. Wensh Tiu’s off the block hit at 18-13 and Mika Reyes’quick attacks at 21-16 gave La Salle the steady lead. Caballejo challenged the lead, but Michele Gumabao displayed a smart drop at the 24th point and Carmela Tunay’s service error tying both teams at 2-sets all.

The gruelling fifth set started with a UST attack error and a block by Gumabao. The Tigresses were set on recovering their momentum with two strong running attacks from Maika Ortiz at 3-2. UST then manages to gain a 4-9 lead with Maruja Banaticla giving an impressive performance and the return of La Salle’s combination of service and attack errors. La Salle’s second setter, Kim Fajardo, comes in to deliver a drop and offensive block at 8-14, Caballejo finished the game with a powerful open block attack.

The DLSU Lady Spikers will face the Adamson University Lady Falcons this Saturday, December 8, 2012, for their second game of UAAP Season 75.