By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
CURRENTLY in solo lead in the standings in Season 81 of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines women’s volleyball tournament, the Ateneo Lady Eagles try to create further separation from the chasing pack when they suit up for action today at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan City.
Soared to their fourth straight win on March 10 with a commanding straight-sets victory over the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons, 25-21, 25-15 and 28-26, the Lady Eagles (4-1) go for win number five for the season in their matchup today at 2 p.m. against the Adamson Lady Falcons (1-4) in the UAAP’s “avian war.”
Ateneo was steadier over UP in their last game, banking on a balanced attack and taking every opportunity presented to it.
It took the first two sets clinically before hanging tough in the third frame to complete the shutout win.
Veteran Maddie Madayag led the Lady Eagles with 14 points, six off blocks, with Kat Tolentino adding 12.
Ponggay Gaston finished with 10 points and Jules Samonte eight points.
The win was the fourth in a row for Ateneo, which opened its UAAP Season 81 campaign with a loss to defending champions De La Salle Lady Spikers.
“We just have to continue trusting the system of coach [Oliver Almandro] and play our game,” said Madayag after their win of the mindset that they should have moving forward.
On the other hand, Adamson seeks to build on its fine play of late.
While they lost in their last game, the Lady Falcons have been playing far better following a coaching change that saw erstwhile deputy Onyok Getigan take over from American Air Padda.
They stretched the Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws last time around but just fell short in five sets, 25-18, 17-25, 25-14, 22-25 and 15-8.
Veterans Eli Soyud, Joy Dacoron and Bern Flora are leading the “not going down without a fight” mentality of the Lady Falcons, making them a tough customer each time.
In the second game at 4 p.m. of the double-header in women’s play, UP (3-2) plays the National University Lady Bulldogs (1-4).
In separate news, rookie Eya Laure of the University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses was named UAAP player of the week.
Laure normed 17.5 points in their twin wins over La Salle and NU last week to merit the award given by media covering the league.
The UST rookie sensation won over teammate Sisi Rondina, Ateneo’s Tolentino and FEU’s Lycha Ebon and Heather Guino-o.