Lady Eagles tame Pirates, wrest solo lead

Standings
Group A
Ateneo 2 0
Lyceum 1 1
SWU 1 1
FEU 0 2
SSC x x

Group B
USLS 2 1
Adamson 1 0
Perpetual Help 1 0
National U 1 2
St. Benilde 0 2
* Still playing at presstime

Games on Tuesday
2 p.m. – Perpetual Help vs Adamson
4 p.m. – San Sebastian vs SWU

Ateneo poured it all in the decider as it rallied to beat Lyceum, 25-19, 24-26, 17-25, 25-19, 15-6, Sunday and seize the solo lead in Group A in the eighth Shakey’s V-League first conference at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan City.
The Lady Eagles took the opener but dropped the next two then pounced on the Pirates’ miscues in the fifth to pound out the victory, their second straight in a big start in their bid for the elusive crown.
Alyssa Valdez, Thai Lithawat Kesinee, Fille Cainglet, Gretchen Ho and Dzi Gervacio combined to deliver the goods for Ateneo, which simply cashed in on Lyceum’s six errors in the deciding set to turn what had appeared to a down-to-the-wire finish into a runaway win.
“You give credit to Lyceum as (Mary Jean) Balse, (Dahlia) Cruz and (Joy) Cases gave us a good fight. We actually lacked focus but I’m glad girls they showed resiliency in the fourth and fifth sets,” said Ateneo coach and former star Charo Soriano.
Valdez unloaded a career-high 27 hits, including two service aces, while Kesinee and Cainglet tossed in 18 points apiece for the Loyola-based squad, seeking its first-ever championship in the league sponsored by Shakey’s Pizza and backed by Mikasa, the official ball, and Accel as official outfitter.
The loss dropped Lyceum to 1-1 in a tie with Southwestern U with Balse, a former two-time MVP, scoring 26 points and Cases and Cruz combined for 22 hits.
With Kesinee and Valdez taking charge, Ateneo took seven of the first eight points in the fifth set and the Lady Eagles, who also drew 13 blocks from Kesinee and Gervacio, never looked back, thwarting the Pirates repeated comebacks.
Earlier, University of St. La Salle dominated National University all game and essayed a straight-set 25-19, 25-18, 25-17 victory as it firmed up its quarterfinal drive in the league organized by Sports Vision.
The Lady Stingers outhit, out-blocked and out-served the Stingers with a superb stint on both ends with Patty Orendain and skipper Kay Aplasca churning out a pair of double digit outputs to lead the attack and the rest holding the Lady Bulldogs without a player in twin-digit scores.
It was USLS second win in three starts in the single round robin elims as it closed in one of the berths in the Last 8 phase of the tournament.
Orendain rammed in 16 kills while Aplasca scored six service aces and six hits in a solid outing that rubbed off to her teammates, including Royce Quijano, Charmaine Moralde, Floradele Dolar and April Hingpit, who combined for 23 points.
The Stingers, bracing for a crucial match against Univ. of Perpetual Help next week, scored 38 points on spikes as against NU’s 27 while making 12 service aces as against their rivals’ two.
The Bacolod-based squad also flourished in non-scoring skills, making 31 excellent digs, including 13 from guest libero Rebbie Delotindo, while coming up with 31 sets as against NU’s 25 and 17, respectively.
The Lady Bulldogs slid to 1-2, just half-a-game ahead of St. Benilde, winless in two starts in the league organized by Sports Vision.
NU, which rebounded from a 0-3 loss to Perpetual Help with a 3-1 victory over St. Benilde last week, drew 26 points from the combined effort of Maricar Nepomuceno, guest players Denise Santiago, Cherry Vivas and Monique Tiangco with Nepomuceno leading the charge with eight hits.PR

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