The Ateneo Lady Eagles avenged their second-round loss and halted the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons’ fairytale season in three sets, 25-19, 25-16, 25-21, to catch the first bus to the finals of UAAP Season 78 women's volleyball tournament at the MOA Arena Saturday.
In the third “Battle of Katipunan,” UP was expected to pull the rug under Ateneo as UP was the team other than La Salle to hand the Lady Eagles their second loss. However, Ateneo showed poise and experience to quell UP’s uprising in every set.
Ateneo was led by Jhoanna Maraguinot’s 17 points, but it was the reigning MVP Alyssa Valdez, who scored clutch hit after hit to keep UP at bay and seal the deal. She tallied 16 markers in the win.
Veterans Nicole Tiamzon and Katherine Bersola spearheaded UP with 13 and eight points, respectively. However, super rookies Isa Molde and Diana Carlos, who were expected to carry the scoring load for the Lady Maroons, only combined for 10 points.
Nonetheless, the rookie-laden UP squad overachieved this season by barging in the Final Four after more than a decade.
The Lady Eagles will be given a slight reprieve as they await the winner of the La Salle-FEU match. The Lady Spikers hold a twice-to-beat advantage and are heavy favorites to face Ateneo in the finals for the fifth straight year.