MANILA, Philippines–National University opened its season with an emphatic demolition of Ateneo 25-15, 25-20, 25-16, at the start of the UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Alyssa Solomon delivered 12 points with the same quantity of blocks and Princess Robles added seven attacks from her 11 points plus seven excellent digs as the Lady Bulldogs stretched their victory run after sweeping the tournament in Season 84.
Michaela Belen had eight points on top of four blocks and four service aces for the defending champions, who won their last 19 games dating back to the 2020 season.
“This is a new season and it’s a fresh start. We did well in other tournaments, but here in the UAAP, it’s different. We have to prepare hard against every team that we play,” said NU coach Carl Dimaculangan.
A dominant opening frame for the Lady Bulldogs actually set the tone for the carnage.
Solomon and Belen joined forces with Sheena Toring, Erin Pangilinan and Robles in a ruthless mid-set assault as NU extricated itself from a tight back-and-forth contest.
Protecting a precarious one-point advantage, the Lady Bulldogs suddenly charged ahead with a 10-1 offensive that tore Ateneo apart.
The Lady Bulldogs were hardly threatened over the next two sets.
Ateneo came within five in the second set on NU’s maze of errors, but the champions quickly regrouped to put out the fire.
Pangilinan, Belen and Robles anchored a swift 9-2 strike in the final frame and Ateneo answered with a long, unexpected rally at match point only to shoot themselves in the foot with a Faith Nisperos service miscue.
Alexis Miner led the Blue Eagles with nine points and seven blocks while Vanessa Gandler and Nisperos had eight points apiece.
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