By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
THE UNIVERSITY of the Philippines Fighting Maroons got some redemption following their so-so debut in UAAP Season 82 women’s volleyball, beating the University of the East Lady Warriors in four sets, 25-23, 25-20, 18-25, 25-17, in league action on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Dominated by defending champions Ateneo Lady Eagles in a three-set loss on Wednesday, the Maroons made sure to come out better against the Lady Warriors and set their University Athletic Association of the Philippines season push back on a track.
The veteran duo of Isa Molde and Tots Carlos showed the way for the Diliman-based spikers with the former notching 24 points built on 18 attacks and four blocks while the latter paraded her all-around game with 15 markers and nine digs.
UP built an early 2-0 cushion before UE managed to snag the third set.
In the fourth frame, however, the Maroons would get back their bearing as they went on to book their first victory of the season.
“We are happy for the win. The players fought and it’s a good feeling as opposed to the first game we played. Today we are happy for the win,” said UP coach Godfrey Okumu following their victory over the Lady Warriors.
The coach went on to say that the loss they absorbed at the hands of Ateneo was a rude wake-up call for them, and that they have to shape up lest they find themselves going nowhere.
“What we did was train (after the Ateneo loss) — that’s what people do when you lose, you train. We talked about it and as I said we only played ten percent of the volleyball that we know. We couldn’t pass, we could see the average of spiking, five balls in a set, it’s really low… It wasn’t easy for the team but I hope we’ll be able to recover and move on strong,” said Mr. Okumu.
Next for the Maroons is a clash with the De La Salle Lady Spikers, who had an impressive season debut of their own on Saturday, topping Ateneo in four sets.
The Maroons said it is another strong early test for them and they hope to take a cue from their performance in the UE match.
“It’s always interesting when you play against La Salle. La Salle is a very good team and it doesn’t matter whether they have rookies or experienced players, they are always a force to be reckoned with. It’s always nice to play against La Salle. That’s when we go full force, we respect La Salle because of the program that they have,” said Mr. Okumu.
The UP-La Salle match is set for Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. at the Mall of Asia Arena.