by Kristel Satumbaga
Games Wednesday (The Arena, San Juan City)
8 a.m. – Adamson vs UE (men’s)
10 a.m. – UST vs Ateneo (men’s)
2 p.m. – NU vs FEU (women’s)
4 p.m. – UST vs UP (women’s)
Ateneo recovered from a shaky second set and downed National University, 25-14, 24-26, 25-17, 25-19, Sunday to book the first Final Four ticket in UAAP women’s volleyball at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
It was the 10th consecutive victory and also 10th Final Four appearance for the Lady Eagles, who strengthened their hold of the top spot with a 10-1 record.
Ateneo coach Oliver Almadro rued their slow start but admired his stalwarts’ efforts in rising from that second-set stumble with their rock-solid net defense and sharp attacks.
Five players scored in double figures for Ateneo with Jules Samonte and Kat Tolentino finishing 13 points each and Maddie Madayag adding 12 points highlighted by five blocks.
Ponggay Gaston and Bea De Leon also contributed 10 points apiece.
NU struggled with 38 errors and fell to its eighth defeat in 11 games to kiss its Final Four bid goodbye.
Earlier, La Salle pummeled Adamson, 25-15, 25-18, 25-16, to remain at second with an improved 8-3 win-loss record.
The Lady Spikers made 10 blocks including three each from Lourdes Clemente and Tine Ogunsanya to also hand the Lady Falcons their 10th loss in 11 matches.
Jolina Dela Cruz took charge in the 70-minute match by finishing with 13 points built on nine kills, two blocks and two aces while skipper Desiree Cheng added 11 points on 10 attacks.
Adamson briefly showed signs of life in the second frame where it rose from a 5-0 deficit to a 16-14 lead, but La Salle was quick to recover with Cobb directing the Lady Spikers’ offense.