The DLSU Lady Spikers wrapped up the double-round eliminations by blanking cellar-dwelling UE Lady Warriors in stright sets 25-17, 25-20, 25-17
It was total domination by the league-leading Taft squad from the first serve to the final spike. The Lady Spikers opened the first set leading by 8-3 and surfed along the set to set point with a dunk by the green middle assassin, Thea Gagate.
UE’s net touch on the ensuing play closed out the first set.
The Lady Spikers welcomed the next frame with Season 84 stalwart Alleiah Malaluan and some stubborn challenges from UE. With no team leading by more than two points, La Salle entered the first technical time-out trailing 7-8.
So much for testing rotations and plays as Coach Ramil De Jesus went back to their familiar patterns and turned on the jets to zoom away from the Lady Warriors with a 10-3 run to have firm control of the set at 17-11.
With UE trying to battle back into the game, Malaluan smashed one to the end zone for her 4th point in the set and nudged La Salle into set-point. Angel Canino finished off the Recto volleybelles with an off-block attack to seal second set 25-20.
With two sets in their pockets, the Lady Spikers went light on the pedal and committed a maze of errors while UE took full advantage to lead 5-8 by the first tech TO.
Again, playtime was over. The Lady Spikers switched to beast mode, went on a 13-4 tear, and shredded UE on both ends of the floor. La Salle also activated their no-fly zone net policy and started to return all attacks to sender while the combination of Thea Gagate, Jolina Dela Cruz and Canino continued to punish the UE floor defense with uncontested, over-the-blockers attacks.
At this point, La Salle was once more in total control of the set and this time, the match.
Canino launched a sharp serve to get an ace to push the lead to 23-15 and Amie Provido torpedoed UE with her version of a service ace to close the game out 25-17.
Canino led all spikers with 13 points and Dela Cruz finished with 8. But the full return of Malaluan has given more depth to the La Salle frontline and finished with 6 points and 1 block in two sets.
With the win, the Lady Spikers closed out the elimination round with a 13-1 record and would wait for the results of Sunday’s match to finalize their Final Four opponent.
ANIMO LA SALLE!
ANIMO LADY SPIKER