Ateneo averts third set meltdown to repeat over FEU

Ateneo repeated over Far Eastern University with a 25-22, 25-13, 25-23 victory in the UAAP Season 84 women's volleyball tournament at the MOA Arena Thursday, May 26.

Ateneo's Faith Nisperos (UAAP Media Bureau)

Faith Nisperos spearheaded the Blue Eagles anew with 19 points off 15 attacks and three service aces as the reigning champions shared a 4-4 record with the Adamson Lady Falcons.

Ateneo averted a third set meltdown after FEU trimmed a five-point deficit down to one only, 22-21.

Nisperos hammered down an off-the-block kill before Chen Tagaod countered with a spike of her own which was called for a check ball off a Vannie Gandler contact to put the set within striking distance, 23-22.

Ateneo first reached match point, 24-22, after a Tagaod service error but Joan Narit also made a faulty serve which slightly gave a glimmer of hope for the Lady Tamaraws, who eventually fell to a 1-7 record.

Erika Raagas delivered when it mattered the most for Ateneo as she blocked Sheila Mae Kiseo, FEU's top scorer with nine points, for the win.

"FEU played well also especially nung third set, we know naman na FEU will really not give in easily. They will challenge. Nakita naman natin 'yong mga previous games nila, habang tumatagal 'yong game nacha-challenge nila 'yong kalaban," said Eagles head coach Oliver Almadro.

"Sabi ko sa mga players ko, we really have to have wisdom and strength towards the end kasi sometimes we are waiting -- like noong mga previous games. We have the chance to close it out but, ayun nga, because 'yong youth din ng mga players ko. But in time, magiging fluid din naman ang kilos."

Alexis Miner also scored nine points for Ateneo while Lyann De Guzman and Vannie Gandler had eight and seven markers each.

Kiseo was the lone bright spot for FEU but nobody reached the double-digit mark. Tagaod, one of the Lady Tamaraws' main gunners, was limited to six points only.