Lady Tamaraws snatch final four spot, split Friday matches

FEU Advocate
November 26, 2023 03:49

By Andrei M. Barrantes

Far Eastern University (FEU) Lady Tamaraws secured a spot in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 86 women’s beach volleyball final four after winning one of two games last November 24 at the Sands SM By The Bay volleyball sand court in Pasay City.

In their first match of the day against University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons, the Gerzel Petallo-Melody Pons duo went to work early, capitalizing on Euri Eslapor and Irah Jaboneta’s slow start. 

Despite the strong play of the Lady Tamaraws, the Fighting Maroons clawed their way back into a 17-all deadlock. Followed a long rally ending in UP taking the lead for the first time in the match.

FEU went to work scoring four straight markers after going on the brink of losing the first set at 17-20.

After a short back-and-forth in the extended set, Pons would ultimately doom the green-and-gold duo with two costly errors, 22-24.

In the second set, the Morayta sand volleybelles corrected their course and cruised to a 21-11 win behind Petallo’s offspeed attacks and Pons’ overbound sets that would result in points.

Both duos showed little to no exhaustion in the third set, alternating attacks and errors to keep the score tied. At the 7-7 scoring mark, Petallo met Eslapor at the top of the net on a simultaneous block attempt and prevailed to take the lead for the first time in the set since 1-0.

Though plenty of close errors kept UP at bay, FEU escaped the relentless Fighting Maroons 2-1 via a Pons tip-in followed by a UP attack error.

In the second game against the also-undefeated National University (NU) Lady Bulldogs, The green-and-gold beach volleybelles set up the first set with a 2-point lead after Gerzel Petallo’s numerous tosses.

However, the Petallo-Pons duo struggled to retain the lead after struggling to defend Honey Grace Cordero and Kly Orillaneda’s attacks, concluding the first set with 12-21.

During the second set, the Lady Tamaraws clinched a tight skid after attempting to put the second half on the FEU bench.

Pons kept the outpour on the Lady Bulldogs to counter attack its defense system all throughout the last set, 20-21.

The Lady Tams is now in a 3-1 win-loss record and concluded its title as one of the undefeated teams in the beach volley tourney.

Despite the loss blemishing their formerly undefeated record, it proved to be nonbearing as the 5-1 win-loss record holding volleybelles booked their first final four appearance since 2019. Playoffs begin on November 28 at the same venue.

-With reports from Paula Jasmine Bronoza/FEU Advocate

(Photo courtesy of The UAAP)