By Ardyn Gonzales
UAAP Season 81 Rookie of the Year Eya Laure fired 28 points as the University of Sto. Tomas Lady Tigresses defeated the De La Salle University Lady Spikers in five sets, 26-24, 22-25, 25-27, 25-23, 15-12, in the UAAP Season 84 women’s volleyball, Thursday, at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The UST-La Salle first round match-up was a close one with two sets extending to a deuce and both teams dragging the match into a five-setter.
In the first set, the Lady Tigresses were down 23-24, but a kill from Camille Victoria followed by back-to-back attacks from Ysa Jimenez for the 1-0 set advantage.
With Alleiah Malaluan at Thea Gagate at the helm, La Salle responded in the next two sets. In the third frame, UST and La Salle were fighting tooth and nail until Baby Jyne Soreno scored a block on Jimenez for the 2-1 advantage.
However, Laure’s composure and experience was on full display in the fourth set, scoring three consecutive points down the stretch to force a rubber set.
The Lady Spikers already had a 12-9 cushion in the deciding set, but Laure sparked a 6-0 run to complete the come-from-behind win.
Laure tallied season-high 28 points off 23 attacks, 3 service aces, and 2 kill blocks, including the last block in the fifth set that sealed the victory. The team captain also registered 20 excellent digs and 19 excellent receptions.
Rookie sensation Alleiah Malaluan carried the scoring load for La Salle with 26 points on top of 18 excellent digs and 22 excellent receptions.
UST continued their winning streak over La Salle dating back to the UAAP Season 81 semi-finals. The Lady Tigresses moved up the standing, 3-1, tied with UP in second place. Meanwhile, La Salle fell down to 2-2.
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