Lady Spikers Complete 14-0 Sweep, beat Ateneo in 5 Sets to enter UAAP finals outright

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    Note to Season 74 WVT challengers: the road to the championship leads to Taft. Unless a challenger can force a detour through their campus, the Lady Spikers’ inexorable march to a repeat looks very probable.

    In today’s match closing the eliminations, the Lady Spikers faced down the determined challenge of Ateneo in 5 sets to finish the eliminations with an immaculate 14-0 record and book a seat to the finals to await the results of the consequential stepladder playoffs.

    In the most highly anticipated match between the top 2 placers, the Lady Spikers took everything their Atenean counterparts could dish out, steadied themselves, and took the match pulling away, 18-25, 25-14, 21-25, 25-19 and 15-7. This was the first match in the second round that the Lady Spikers allowed an opponent to take a set, and Ateneo managed 2. But what mattered was not the whitewash but the clean slate at the end of the eliminations. The prize? A shortcut to the finals with a thrice-to-beat advantage.

    The Lady Spikers got off slow, as they have in a few games in the past, and Ateneo capitalized on the sluggish start to streak to an 18-25 first set. The same thing happened in their first round encounter, where Ateneo took the first set. Our players struggled with their service reception, particularly with Gervacio’s jump serve, to spot Ateneo that lead that they never completely overhauled in the first set. Uncharacteristic errors and the recurring service errors also gifted Ateneo with some free points in the early going, enough to give them that winning margin that spelled the difference in the first set.

    Our team regrouped to pound out a dominating 25-14 second set, and looked poised to run away with the match. However, they lost concentration, made a few errors including the perennial service miscues, and handed the set to Ateneo, 21-25. Again down a set, with their backs to the wall, the Lady Spikers struggled through the second technical timeout before clamping down on defense and varying their attacks to win pulling away, 25-19. Team Captain Cha Cruz, Abi Marano and rookie Reyes shone brightest in that tough 4th set. The net defense stiffened, the floor coverage improved, and Ateneo spikes which which had previously resulted in scores were either blocked or retrieved and returned forcefully, forcing the Ateneans to take riskier shots just to evade the blockers, many of which missed the mark.  By the latter part of the 4th set, the Lady Spikers were all business, and went for the kill. In the final set, the Lady Spikers made it look easy as they ran away from their demoralized opponents, 15-7. Abi Marano was adjudged “Player of the Game”, finishing with 20 points on a variety of runners and quick plays. Cha Cruz, playing her last few games with the team, pumped in 19 points, 18 coming off attacks. Our net defense was anchored by Reyes (10 points) and Gumabao (12 points), who made 2 clean blocks each and altered numerous other opponent spikes.

    The capacity of the Lady Spikers to withstand hot starts by the opponents is a testament to their resilience and mental toughness. However, it also puts them in adverse situations that they have to dig themselves out of. Sometimes, it makes us wonder if they look for more challenges just to keep themselves interested. It reminds me of the fictional Borg of Star Trek, whose line “resistance is futile” might be very applicable when describing this edition of the Lady Spikers.

    However, the sweep will not amount to anything unless the Lady Spikers complete the task by winning their next 2 games. Let’s cheer them on as they gun for the repeat!

    ANIMO!

    Notes: Adamson, FEU, UST and Ateneo will figure in a stepladder playoff series to determine the Lady Spikers’ finals opponent. The championship match will start on Feb 25 with La Salle having the thrice-to-beat advantage. The Men’s Volleyball team finished the elimination round with a 9-5 record. They will enter the Final 4 as the 4th seed and will face FEU this coming Wednesday.

     


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    • http://twitter.com/fayechua Floren Faye Chua

      I think the UAAP Mancom stated that there’d be a Final Four series despite La Salle sweeping the eliminations

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002076863024 Chris Ona

      LOL WHUUUT! :|

    • http://twitter.com/fayechua Floren Faye Chua

      a sportswriter colleague re-verified it for me. There was supposed to be a stepladder format if a team did sweep the double-round eliminations. ADMU protested mid-season that there it’s still a Final Four affair, sweep or no sweep. Alas, the previous decision of a stepladder format was accepted and ADMU’s position was junked. Sorry for the misconception.

    • http://www.goarchers.com GO ARCHERS

      La Salle is already in the finals. That’s FINAL

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LN6H5EYVC5BQDWL22UDI46UKEI JC I

      Hi Nel,

      Did Les get a shot of Gumabao’s and Cruz’s angas reaction? :D

      -jc

    • animo2011

      Perhaps the sportswriter was not aware of what transpired when DLSU formally lodged an appeal – the straight-top-the-finals incentive was reinstated together with the stepladder series. The official schedule already released for the playoffs lists a stepladder playoff series, so the final 4 format is clearly not going to be followed. GOARCHERS has posted the official schedule already. Please ask your colleague to check his sources again.

    • animo2011

      To Floren Faye Chua:

      Perhaps the sportswriter was not aware of what transpired when DLSU formally lodged an appeal – the straight-to-the-finals incentive was reinstated together with the stepladder series. The official schedule already released for the playoffs lists a stepladder playoff series, so the final 4 format is clearly not going to be followed. GOARCHERS has already posted the official schedule above. Please ask your colleague to check his sources again to avoid spreading misinformation.

    • Fred_Cebu

      A fine win for an amazing team! Murder Inc. II!

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NF4HSOSN2GUZQGGSK2HQQUUPVY Erwin S

      Great game ladies!! Ang lupit!! Animo!!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002741545311 Ceri Kate Sanchez Ceribo

      Congratulations Archers, we’re very proud for the Lady Spikers especially to their team captain Charleen Abigaile Cruz a.k.a CHA CRUZ :)))

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4X4JTZMHHFZBZDY24CAKLUN7KU Vincent Tee

      Knew it. You’ve got what it takes. Now let’s wrap it up and party!!! Thank You, UNDEFEATED CHAMPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ANIMO LA SALLE!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Natasha-Caneso/100001941071587 Natasha Caneso

      Yeah. Trash talk in the name of Jesus Christ

    • http://twitter.com/jahnamariko27 Mariko Enguito

      TRASH TALK!

    • http://mr837.blogspot.com/ Albert Einstein ☺

      What’s the name of Miss Reyes (#6)? She’s Cute!

    • turin55555

      SWEET VICTORY.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000257359793 Kyran Princze Prinz

      all i can say is “….KAYO NA !!!! Lady spikers!!!….” An1mo La Salle..!!!

    • http://twitter.com/fayechua Floren Faye Chua

      like what I’ve said, he told me that “Alas, the previous decision of a stepladder format was accepted and ADMU’s position was junked”. I was the one who thought the F4 situation is still underway and he corrected me.

    • GREEN_PASTURES

      One week to go, magpapainom na naman kami ng alumni. Wish the girls could join us on the table but that won’t be too wholesome looking for young lady athletes joining old farts in the victory celebration, hahaha! Those were our days and these are our daughters. GO LA SALLE !!!

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