The University of the Philippines (UP) Lady Maroons secured at the very least a playoff for a Final Four slot in the UAAP Season 78 women’s volleyball by beating the University of Santo Tomas Tigresses on Sunday (April 10).
The UP Lady Maroons came out stronger despite the shaky start to beat the already eliminated Tigresses in 4 sets: 17-25, 25-21, 25-20, 25-20. With the recent win, the Lady Maroons improved their elimination round record to 8 wins and 6 losses.
Rookie Isa Molde tied her career-high performance with 23 points and scored the final point of the match with a solid spike that sealed the deal for the Lady Maroons. Molde also had 16 attacks, 3 blocks, and 4 services aces, contributing to the group effort together with veterans Kathy Bersola and Nicole Tiamzon, who each added 10 points to the game.
After losing composure in the first set, UP had to find its rhythm in the next sets that made them win the second set. The Lady Maroons were down with 4 points, 14-18, but Jewel Lai made three aces that put them back on the game. UP eventually dictated the momentum at the 20-18 mark in the third set. Once in their game form, the Lady Maroons proved stronger than the Tigresses with a nine point-lead, 21-12, in the fourth set.
The Lady Maroons will now have to wait for the result of the match between De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Spikers and National University (NU) Lady Bulldogs on Wednesday (April 13). In the event that the DLSU Lady Spikers wins that match, the UP Lady Maroons will automatically make it to the Final Four given their win-loss record. However if the NU Lady Bulldogs prevails over the Lady Spikers, then the volleyball players from DIliman will have to fight it our with NU for the last slot in the Final Four.
The UP Lady Maroons last saw action in the Final Four in Season 65.