HIT UP. Arielle Estrañero of the Lady Maroons challenges the defense of the Lady Tams pair of Heather Anne Guino-o and Celine Domingo. Photo by Josh Albelda/Rappler
MANILA, Philippines – University of the Philippines shook off its first championship stint jitters and incredibly rose from two sets down to move within a win of a a dream crown in the Premier Volleyball League.
The Lady Maroons stunned the Far Eastern U Lady Tamaraws with a stirring sweep of the last three sets, snatching a 14-25, 22-25, 26-24, 25-18, 15-5 victory in Game 1 of the Season 2 Collegiate Conference finals on Sunday night, September 9, at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan.
Isa Molde, Marian Buitre and Roselyn Rosier combined to carry the Lady Maroons from the brink of a straight-set loss over a shell-shocked FEU side that came into the best-of-three finals oozing with confidence against a team making its first ever finals appearance in any women’s volley league.
But after yielding the first two sets in contrasting fashion, the Lady Maroons came out smoking in the third, bucking a late meltdown with a gritty stand then sustaining their momentum in the fourth to force a decider.
With Molde and Buitre alternating with their stinging down-the-line spikes and Rosier scoring on cross-courts and off-the-block hits, the Lady Maroons took an 8-3 bulge and never looked back, reducing their fancied rivals to a fumbling, erratic squad, which finished second here to absentee National U last year.
UP guns for a record championship on Wednesday, September 12.
The Lady Maroons, who shocked the top-seeded Adamson Lady Falcons in the Final Four, struggled in the early going with erratic reception but slowly regained their bearing in the next.
Though they went 0-2 down, they showed some fight in the second and came out strong in the next two to surprise the Lady Tams. – Rappler.com