NU sweeps UST in Game 1 of the Finals for 1-0 lead

By Ardyn Gonzales

The National University Lady Bulldogs inched closer to title redemption after sweeping the University of Sto. Tomas Golden Tigresses, 25-23, 25-20, 25-20, in the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball Game 1 of the Finals, Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

NU relied on their championship experience against the massive UST crowd, particularly in their first set where they botched a 16-10 lead. As the Lady Bulldogs struggled to contain Angge Poyos and Jonna Perdido as they made a 7-1 run, NU suddenly found themselves down, 17-18.

However, Bella Belen, Alyssa Solomon, and Vange Alinsug connived to respond immediately and survived the Golden Tigresses, 25-23.

It was a closer second set as UST and NU had an early 11-all deadlock. Unfortunately, Poyos suffered an ankle sprain after a bad fall, making the Golden Tigresses lose their star player in the middle of the match.

The Lady Bulldogs were able to escape the deadlock through consecutive blocks on UST as momentum stayed with them until the third set.

It was a well-balanced effort from the three-time finalists since Season 84 as four players finished in double-digits in just three sets. Alyssa Solomon had a monster performance with 17 points on 14 attacks and three kill blocks, Bella Belen and Vange Alinsug had 13 and 12 respectively.

Sheena Toring who got her injury last year also in Game 1 returned to the championship stage with 10 points, featuring team-high three kill blocks.

So many similarities in Season 81 for UST as after defeating the twice-to-beat La Salle, they lost their super rookie in Poyos to an ankle sprain, the same way they lost then rookie Eya Laure in the championship match. Perdido and Reg Jurado stepped up with combined 27 points to help the Golden Tigresses in the game.

NU now takes a 1-0 series lead. Game 2 will be on May 15, Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

Featured image courtesy of UAAP

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