- October 10, 2023 09:37
The Far Eastern University (FEU) Lady Tamaraws absorbed their third loss of the season at the hands of the De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Archers after surrendering in a three-set thriller, 15-25, 19-25, 24-26, in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) season 81 women’s volleyball tournament last March 16 at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
“Okay naman [‘yung performance] especially noong third set, ‘yun nga lang, masiyadong na-intimidate sa kalaban (The performance was okay especially in the third set, unfortunately, the team got intimidated by the opponent),” FEU head coach George Pascua stated.
The Lady Tamaraws went on a rough start, scoring only a point, courtesy of a service error by Lady Archer Michelle Cobb at 1-8 heading to the opening set’s first technical time out.
Jerrili Malabanan registered an off-the-block kill followed by a power tip by Celine Domingo but La Salle’s firepower was just too much for the Lady Tamaraws, making the latter trail by 10, 6-16.
Rookie Lycha Ebon poured consecutive attacks via kill blocks and down-the-line hits in the latter part of the set, before eventually surrendering the opening frame, 15-25.
A runner by Celine Domingo started the charge of the Lady Tams in the second set followed by a crosscourt kill by lefty Ebon to keep a tight contest at two-all. DLSU then created an 11-to-three run, making the Lady Tamaraws trail by eight at 5-13.
FEU managed to create a four-to-nothing run but a service error committed by France Ronquillo costed them to be five points behind, 9-14. After a string of errors from La Salle and a tip by Domingo, FEU sliced the lead to four, 18-22.
Problematic defense from FEU’s side at the tail end of the set gave DLSU a two-sets-to-none lead. The Morayta-based squad trailed by six points heading to the first technical time out of the third set, 2-8.
After trading punches and being down by six at 11-17, the Lady Tamaraws managed to create a six-to-nothing run to equalize the tally at 17-all. Check ball by Ronquillo followed by an attack error by Lady Archer May Luna gave FEU its first lead of the match at 19-18.
With momentum on the side of the green-and-gold squad, veterans Kyle Negrito and Domingo carried the scoring load by contributing back-to-back drop shots to maintain a slight cushion at 22-20.
After committing a string of errors, Tam captain Jerrili Malabanan exploded with an off-the-block hit, equalizing at 23-all. Behind by one, FEU tried to extend the match but an attack error by Ebon concluded the match with La Salle on the high side, 24-26.
Deemed to be the rematch of last year’s finals, wherein FEU was swept in the series, coach Pascua reminded the girls to seize the opportunity when facing the Lady Archers, saying “Sabi ko nga sa kanila, they should take this opportunity, itong laban namin sa kanila kasi last season, hindi kami nanalo sa kanila. Siguro next round na lang (As I have told them, they should take this opportunity to avenge their finals loss in this match against La Salle because last season, we were not able to win against them).”
Ebon, who was the lone Lady Tam to score in double-digit, anchored the squad with 10 markers. Team captain Malabanan added nine markers followed by Domingo with seven points. Czarina Carandang and France Ronquilo added five points each while setter Negrito contributed three points with 22 excellent sets.
With the loss, FEU Lady Tamaraws now sport a 4-3 win-loss record as they enter the second round.
-Mark Steven V. Donque