MANILA, Philippines — Faith Nisperos unleashed a career-high 31 points as Ateneo escaped Adamson, 24-26, 25-21, 25-19, 23-25, 19-17, to claim the solo fourth place in the UAAP Season 84 women’s volleyball tournament on Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena.
Nisperos poured 26 attacks, four aces and a block to overcome the hard-fighting Adamson in a grueling two-hour and 56-minute match, where both teams combined for a total of 82 errors.
The Blue Eagles’ leading scorer nailed a back row attack to put her team at match point, 14-12. But Trisha Genesis willed the Lady Falcons back and even put Adamson at match point twice, 16-15, before Vanie Gandler tied it, and regained the lead, 17-16.
However, Rizza Cruz committed back-to-back errors that put Ateneo ahead, 18-17, followed by a crucial miscommunication between the Lady Falcons that easily gave up the win to the Blue Eagles, who improved to 7-5 or the solo fourth place.
“I guess all my players stepped up. We just had to play the right way. When we play tense, we tend to make mistakes. We have to be sound fundamentally. We have to do good in everything we do,” said Ateneo coach Oliver Almadro.
“Nothing special, nothing spectacular. I just asked our players, ever since we started doubtful, but we’re getting our faith and we’re getting our confidence.”
Nisperos also had 22 excellent receptions. Vanie Gandler nailed 14 kills for 15 points including 11 digs, while Erika Raagas added 14 points as Ateneo won four of its five second round matches to bolster its Final Four chances.
Setter Jaja Maraguinot delivered 24 excellent sets, as libero Roma Doromal protected the floor with 29 excellent receptions and 19 digs.
Adamson dropped to 6-6 in the fifth place, giving up 42 errors in the match that put its balanced attack and fourth set comeback to waste.
Genesis lifted the Lady Falcons with 16 points. Aliah Marce played her best game of the season with 15 points. Rizza Cruz and Lorene Toring had 12 points each, providing their team’s six blocks, while Lucille Almonte was converted again from libero to spiker, tallying 10 points and 11 digs in the loss.
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