Reigning champion Ateneo showed steely nerves to survive Adamson in a five-set thriller, 24-26, 25-21, 25-19, 23-25, 19-17, and claim solo fourth in the UAAP Season 84 women's volleyball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City Saturday night, June 4.
An emotional Faith Nisperos became the Blue Eagles' scoring machine as she dropped a career-high of 31 points built on 26 attacks, four service aces, and a block including key conversions in the fifth and decisive set.
The win also enabled Ateneo to improve its rankings to 7-5 record while Adamson suffered opposite fate with a 6-6 slate.
The match saw multiple extensions after both teams reached 15-all following Nisperos' attack error off a low set from Jaja Maraguinot.
Trisha Genesis put Adamson to its first match point with a solid crosscourt kill as Ateneo libero Mae Doromal couldn't save the ball up, 16-15.
But Vannie Gandler showed guts and responded with a down-the-line hit to reach another deadlock.
Genesis retaliated with another kill but a costly net violation was called on Rizza Cruz after Nisperos' attack.
It was all Ateneo from there as Cruz committed another error, this time on the frontlines, off a Louie Romero dish supposedly for a quick play.
Now on the cusp of winning, the Eagles' victory turned anticlimactic when Nisperos hit the ball off a broken play and the Lady Falcons were unable to convert as Lucille Almonte received the last contact.
Earlier, De La Salle made short work of the winless University of the East, 25-12, 25-19, 25-22, to get a firm grip of its solo second at 9-3.
Alleiah Malaluan and Thea Gagate led the Lady Spikers with 12 points apiece while Fifi Sharma, Justine Jazareno, and Marite Espina chalked up eight markers each.
Dara Nieva paced the Lady Warriors, who fell to a 0-12 hole, with 12 points while Jasckin May Babol had 10 markers.