Written by Neal Tieng
The DLSU Lady Spikers are on a streak and they are getting hotter.
But the games are also getting tougher.
After winning on opening day against our arch-rivals Ateneo Lady Eagles, La Salle unleashed all arrows to shoot down the Lady Falcons of Adamson in straight sets before getting into a dog fight against National U to win in 4-sets to clinch both win number 2 and 3.
GROUNDING THE LADY FALCONS
The Lady Falcons maybe winless, but they are far from being pushovers.
The Lady Spikers swept Adamson 25-21, 25-21, 25-20 and snatched their second victory and resume the 4-peat campaign with a statement win.
After getting a lift from 14 errors from the volleybelles from San Marcelino in the first set, the Lady Spikers quickly fell behind Adamson in the second set, 0-3. But the Lady Falcons’ tendency to be error prone returned as Adamson’s three errors helped La Salle get back into the game at 5-3.
And while the two squads were only two points apart at the turn of the first technical time-out with DLSU ahead at 8-6, the frontline mix of Julia Ipac, May Luna and skipper Desiree Cheng pummeled the Adamson defense with relentless assault from backrow attacks to lethal blocks from the trio of Ipac, Luna and Cheng. Their efforts were backstopped by the excellent La Salle floor defense which fuelled an 8-2 run that derailed the Adamson momentum. But the Falcons did not yield without waging a battle. Bernadette Flora opened fire on La Salle’s defense and combined with Mary Jane Dacoron to slice the once comfortable lead to just 23-21 after Ipac slammed an attack out of bounds.
When all else becomes tough, the captain took over. Cheng’s open attack and Aduke Ogunsanya’s running hit hosed down the Adamson rally to reach set point at 24-21 before Adamson’s Trisha Mae Genesis serve flew beyond the line to give the second set to the Lady Spikers 25-21.
Riding the momentum of a two straight sets conquest, La Salle zoomed to a 5-0 lead immediately on the final set hoping to close the afternoon early. Just like the previous sets, Adamson clawed back and snipped the gap to 9-6.
But that was all, and La Salle rookie Joline Dela Cruz, Ipac and Luna went to work and drilled on the open Adamson backline defense 16-8 going into the final technical time-out.
Predicting an Adamson defensive adjustment, Michelle Cobb went to Ogunsanya at the middle and threatened to break the set apart 18-9. And even the Lady Falcons threatened for one last time at 20-16, La Salle traded points and closed the game with a cross-court attack by Dela Cruz to close the game out 25-20 to clinch win #2.
Dela Cruz topped all scorers with 10 points while Cheng and Ogunsanya tallied 9. It was a game that was won through offense as the Lady Spikers outscored the Lady Falcons 43-29 on attacks.
THAT TOUGH BULLDOGS GAME
National U has new attack dogs and they bite.
The Lady Spikers got their toughest challenge yet before they tamed the Lady Bulldogs of National University 25-10, 20-25, 27-25, 25-22 last February 27, 2019 at the Flying V San Juan Arena.
Tirelessly defending against the attacking duo of Ivy Lacsina and Princess Anne Robles of NU, La Salle needed an extra push in the 4th set from captain Des Cheng to put the Bulldogs to sleep.
It looked like an easy game after La Salle blew National U out of the water in the first set 25-10.Wrong. The Lady Bulldogs turned the tables with a decisive 7-2 tear midway in the second set to reverse an 11-8 count to 12-15 and the Lady Spikers were never able to overcome that 2nd set deficit. Finding new gems from hitters Robles and Lacsina, NU continued to find gaps in the La Salle floor defense as Robles finished off the Lady Spikers with a set-ending 3-0 to peg the final count. NU overwhelmed the La Salle defense with 14 attack points and scoring on 3 service aces.
The tension was electric in the 3rd set with the Lady Spikers needed exceptional play from transferee Lourdes Clemente and Aduke Ogunsanya to keep in stride with the suddenly dangerous NU squad. With the score knotted at 23, Clemente pushed La Salle up front with a service ace and within set point at 24-23.
NU’s Robles was having her career afternoon and no amount of adversity was going to get in the way as she fired another cross-court attack to level the score at 25-all. Catching a little luck with NU’s service error, the Lady Spikers took the set when May Luna found enough air space to unleash a savage attack through two NU blockers to clinch the set 27-25.
La Salle survived the set despite the 14 attack points from NU compared to 9 of their own and an embarrassing 10 errors in one set. Numerous service miscues dragged the Lady Spikers to the point of almost losing the set.
After barely getting out the 3rd set unscathed, La Salle leaned on the veteran smarts of captain Des Cheng to set the tone for the final set. Teaming up beautifully with Ogunsanya and Clemente, Cobb was able to find the right people at the right spot which created a 12-7 lead for La Salle.
The stubborn Lady Bulldogs still not go down as they scrambled back into the game and shrunk the lead down to 2, 21-19 prompting Coach Ramil De Jesus to call an emergency timeout. And it was time for the big guns of La Salle to take over.
Jolina Dela Cruz scored on a middle stack play and Luna’s off-speed attack finally pushed La Salle within set point that led to the game closing attack by our team captain to seal NU’s defeat at 25-22.
Luna led all scorers with 14 points while Ogunsanya and Cheng ended the game with 12 apiece. Clemente made a good account of herself with 5 timely points in the very critical 3rd set.
NEXT TEAM UP
The Lady Spikers will be back on the taraflex court on Saturday, March 2, 2019 at 4pm against UP Lady Maroons. This game promises to be another acid test in La Salle’s capability to go for that 4th straight crown.
ANIMO LA SALLE!!!