The DLSU Lady Spikers had an inauspicious debut in the Shakeys Super League 2022 edition, edging a vastly-improved FEU Lady Tam squad in 5 sets, 25-13, 19-25, 21-25, 25-22, 15-8 this afternoon at the Rizal Memorial Sports Coliseum.
FEU had caused an upset of sorts when it outlasted NCAA champs CSB last weekend in 5 sets. In that game, FEU kept pace with CSB, and proved steadier at the end.
The Lady Spikers bucked a slow start in the first set before zooming ahead to easily clinch the opening set. However, FEU started finding its bearings, with setter Ubaldo varying her plays to keep the Taft defenses guessing to take the next two sets. The Lady Spikers could not settle into a rhythm, and found many of their attacks partially blocked, only to come back to them from different angles.
In the 4th, the Lady Spikers finally broke free at the end, parlaying FEU errors into points while stiffening the net defense.
In the 5th, Thea Gagate spearheaded the Taft thrusts, scoring on blocks and from the service line to keep the UAAP S84 runner-ups ahead till the end.
Malaluan was adjudged player of the game, as she figured out how to get her hits past the energetic FEU blockers.
The Shakeys Super League rules required that all players should be fielded for at least half a set, and we saw the entry of highly regarded Provido at middle blocker and Jade Fuentes. Both rookies put in a good account of themselves in the second set.
La Salle leads Pool D with 1 win, followed by FEU with a 1-1 card, CSB 0-1, and Letran which plays its first game only on Saturday, Oct. 8 against FEU. The Lady Spikers take on sister school CSB on Saturday, Oct. 8 at 3pm. CSB is expected to go all-out to win, because a loss will practically eliminate them from contention. The next day, the Lady Spikers take on Letran at 12:30 in a back-to-back setup to close out their elimination round. Only the top 2 teams will advance to the playoffs.