UP shocks La Salle for share of lead in women's volleyball
MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATED) The University of the Philippines (UP) Lady Maroons fired a warning shot to the rest of the field as they overwhelmed defending champion De La Salle University in their first-round encounter on Wednesday at the Arena in San Juan.
The Lady Maroons shone on both ends of the floor en route to a shocking 25-22, 25-21, 25-19 victory over the Lady Spikers that gave them a share of the lead in the UAAP Season 79 women's volleyball tournament.
It was UP's first victory over La Salle since January 20, 2008, when the Lady Spikers' second round win in Season 70 was forfeited due to the ineligibility of Jacqueline Alarca. Since then, La Salle has beaten the Lady Maroons 16 consecutive times.
That ended Wednesday, as the Lady Maroons' offense proved too much even for La Salle's vaunted blocking skills. The Lady Spikers registered 11 kill blocks to only four for UP, but the Lady Maroons still came away with a 39-23 advantage in attacks.
"Alam kasi ng girls ang capability nila this year," said UP assistant coach Rald Ricafort after the contest. "Alam nila na sila ang medyo matured this season, dahil sa composition nila. Nag-focus sila sa pagbasa ng plays ng La Salle."
UP showed its composure in the first two sets, when they proved to be more poised down the stretch to fend off La Salle's rally.