10 April 2019
By Ardyn Gonzales
In the crucial stretch of the elimination round, the University of Sto. Tomas Lady Tigresses boosted their hopes to get back in the Final Four after sweeping the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons in straight sets, 25-21, 25-12, 26-24, in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament, Wednesday at the FilOil Flying-V Arena in San Juan.
UST was able to adjust to the sudden change in the rotation of UP – putting Justin Dorog back in the libero position while inserting veteran Marian Buitre in the starting six.
After quickly establishing a 2-0 lead in the match, the Lady Tigresses’ confidence was challenged in the third set as the Lady Maroons tried to survive. UP led by two points coming into the second technical timeout, but UST responded right away with a 5-1 run to steal the lead.
The Lady Maroons once again made a run with Buitre doing the damage, but untimely unforced errors of UP cost them the chance to extend the game. A block by Eya Laure on Marian Buitre completed the sweep by the Lady Tigresses as they secured at least a playoff for the semi-finals with an 8-4 win-loss record.
Sisi Rondina led the way for UST with 20 points on on 17 attacks, 2 aces and 1 block, alongside 15 excellent digs and 8 excellent receptions. Eya Laure and Dimdim Pacres also contributed with combined 20 points.
Marian Buitre topscored for the Lady Maroons as they suffered their sixth loss this season which put them in a do-or-die situation for the Final Four race. UP needs to win their two remaining games and hopes that one team among La Salle, UST, and FEU will not reach nine wins to force a playoff.
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