Ateneo sweeps Adamson, clinches last Final Four slot

Reigning champion Ateneo whipped Adamson in straight sets, 25-20, 28-26, 25-22, in their playoff showdown to clinch the last Final Four slot in the UAAP Season 84 women's volleyball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City Saturday night, June 11.

Ateneo's Faith Nisperos attacks the net against two Adamson blockers (UAAP Media Bureau)

Faith Nisperos dropped 22 points built on 18 spikes and two blocks to lead the Blue Eagles anew, who barged into the Final Four for the 11th straight time since Season 71.

AC Miner fired 16 points on top of 12 attacks, two blocks, and two service aces while Vannie Gandler chalked up 12 markers. Erika Raagas also had nine points for Ateneo.

It was Jaja Maraguinot though who earned the Player of the Game honor as she tossed 21 excellent sets apart from her lone point to help Nisperos, Miner, and Gandler reach double-digits.

"When we won against UP (University of the Philippines) and nanalo ang Adamson sa La Salle, sabi namin we just have to win it clean para convincing," said Eagles head coach Oliver Almadro. "Pinag-usapan namin nag-agree 'yong mga bata and ito, we will live another day."

Tied at 22-all in the third set, Ateneo scored three straight points capped by Takako Fujimoto and Miner's double block against Almonte's attack for the win.

Nisperos scored an off-the-block hit for the go-ahead point before Miner hammered the ball down off an over receive to reach match point.

The Lady Falcons showed some resistance in the second frame and clawed their way back from four points down with a 6-1 run to lead by one point only, 26-25.

Nisperos, Vandler, and Miner, however, connived down the stretch to secure the hard-earned set victory.

The Eagles are set to face the third-seeded University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses on Tuesday, June 14 at 6:30 p.m. at the same venue.

Trisha Genesis paced the Lady Falcons with 11 spikes and two service aces for 13 points while Lucille Almonte added nine markers.

Aliah Marce and Rizza Cruz also contributed seven points apiece for Adamson, which showed a promising campaign and improved to fifth place compared to its dismal showing in Season 81.

The Lady Falcons placed at rock bottom with a 2-12 record three years ago.