Eya Laure dropped 31 points as University of Santo Tomas held off reigning champion Ateneo in four sets, 25-19, 25-21, 29-31, 33-31, in the UAAP Season 84 women’s volleyball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City Thursday night, May 19.
Laure set a career-high of 31 points built on 30 attacks to propel the Golden Tigresses to a 5-2 record alongside the De La Salle Lady Spikers, who routed the Far Eastern Lady Tamaraws in the last match of the first round with a 25-7, 25-12, 22-25, 25-11 win.
UST and Ateneo played back-and-forth in the fourth and decisive sets which saw multiple service errors and attack conversions from both teams.
Laure was there for the Tigresses while Faith Nisperos, who scored 22 points on top of 20 spikes and two blocks, anchored the Blue Eagles.
UST though prevailed in the end after a block from KC Galdones before Laure iced the match with an off-the-block attack.
Even Tigresses head coach Kungfu Reyes was surprised with the outcome and even jested as if the entire match was played in six sets.
“Rollercoaster ride,” said Reyes. “Siyempre masaya dito ‘yong mga spectators, ‘yong mga nanonood kitang kita natin para sa kanila naman ‘to. Para sa mga player namin na na-experience nila ‘yong mga lumalabas ‘yong mga rookie errors.
“‘Yon ‘yong pinakamaganda doon ‘yong ma-experience, especially ni [Ypril] Tapia na pagdating sa mga ganyang pitpitan. Medyo talaga ‘yong drive kailangan fighting spirit mo nandon.”
Imee Hernandez posted 14 points off 13 attacks and a block while Galdones and Tapia scored 12 and 11 points, respectively, for UST.
Vannie Gandler also added 18 points all coming from spikes for Ateneo, which sustained a 3-4 record alongside Adamson.
Meanwhile, Alleiah Malaluan continued to spearhead the Lady Spikers and led the team to victory with 16 markers off 15 spikes.
Thea Gagate and Fifi Sharma hammered down, 14 and 13 points, respectively, for De La Salle.
The Lady Spikers were off to a good start in the first two sets but the Lady Tamaraws bounced back in the third.
De La Salle, however, spoiled the party as it returned to its tip-top shape in the fourth and last frame with an early 6-1 spurt and pulled away for good.
Chen Tagaod remained as the lone bright spot for the Lady Tamaraws, who fell to a 1-6 slate.
UAAP volleyball action will return on Thursday, May 26 as the cheerdance competition kicks off on Sunday, May 22.