The National University Lady Bulldogs are back on top of the throne of UAAP women’s volleyball for the first time in 65 years after they defeated the De La Salle University in straight sets, 25-15, 25-15, 25-22, in Game Two of the best-of-three finals series of UAAP Season 84 on Tuesday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
This is just NU’s third title in the event and first since 1957 and the first tournament sweep in the league since Ateneo de Manila University did it in Season 77.
“Siguro yung pagiging coach ko nag champion pero marami kami hardships na pinagdaanan. Sobrang saya and sobrang nakakasaya para sa team,” said Lady Bulldogs head coach Karl Dimaculangan.
“Sobrang saya ko po actually kasi sa training po namin halos makita po namin yung (pagod at sakripisyo), nagbunga naman po lahat,” said Finals MVP Cess Robles who averaged 9.0 points and 9.5 digs in the two-game series.
“Sobrang happy po kami at kay coach dahil nakuha namin yung championship crown,” Robles added.
DLSU fought back in the third period, and led by three late, 20-17, before NU head coach Karl Dimaculangan called a timeout and was followed by an Alyssa Solomon point, 18-20. Then Dimaculangan called the numbers of Joyme Cagande and Erin Pangilinan to sub for Lams Lamina and Solomon.
The Lady Bulldogs then uncorked a 7-0 blast through the excellent play of the super substitutes to move to match point, 24-20.
Back-to-back errors from NU though pulled DLSU back, 22-24, but Thea Gagate’s service went wide for the clincher.
The Lady Spikers opened the game with a 10-6 lead, but it was all Lady Bulldogs the rest of the first set, going on a 14-2 blast to turn the game, 20-12 on the way to a 25-15 tally.
It was no different in the second frame as NU zoomed to a 10-3 start and never looked back, 25-15, to move on the verge of the win, the tournament sweep, and the crown.
Solomon topscored anew for NU with 18 points on 15 attacks and three blocks. Season MVP Mhicaela Belen had 16 points built on 13 spikes and three blocks.
Nobody scored double figures anew for DLSU with Gagate as its leading scorer with eight points. Gagate followed with seven points