UP overcame a slow start to secure Game 1 of the Premier Volleyball League Finals. The Lady Fighting Maroons outlasted the FEU Lady Tamaraws in five exhilarating sets.
It was an overall great performance for the team, securing the last three sets to come within a win away from being crowned PVL champions.
Maroons’ slow start boosts Lady Tams
It wasn’t the start UP hoped as they trailed by a huge margin early in the first. FEU caught fire early on to torch the Lady Maroons with an 8-point lead, 3-11.
The ladies tried to crawl back, but the deficit was too much to overcome. The Maroons lost the set, 14-25.
UP found better footing in the next set to lead by 5 points, 13-8. Marist Layug and Rosie Rosier led the surge. But they couldn’t shake off the spirited Tamaraws as it bounced back to tie the match.
The set went down the wire as both teams took turns with the lead. It was knotted at 22, but FEU had enough to seal a come-from-behind win to secure another set, 22-25.
UP overcomes 2-0 FEU lead
Even as they were down two sets to none, the team wasn’t fazed. According to Player of the Game Rosie Rosier, she knew UP could pull of a win.
“I felt very relaxed because I knew we could win this,” Rosier, who had 15 points and 13 attacks in the game, shared.
Isa Molde’s consistent play, together with Ayi Gannaban and Rosier’s attacks boosted the Diliman-based squad to a 9-point lead in the third set, 17-8.
UP led all throughout the third as they continued to play aggressive. The squad kept their defense and receptions in-sync to stave off a 7-0 run by FEU and bag the set, 26-24.
The Lady Maroons carried the momentum coming into the fourth as Marian Buitre and Molde each scored back-to-back hits. UP piled up a considerable advantage early in the set, 8-1.
The opponents tried to post a comeback, but each time FEU would score, UP would return with a run of its own. Behind great plays by Buitre and Molde, the team sealed the fourth to force a fifth and deciding set, 25-18.
The Maroons continued their solid performance in the fifth as they took the driver’s seat throughout. UP couldn’t do no wrong as Rosier caught fire to bag the deciding set, 15-5.
“I’m very, very happy! Now, we know what to improve on and how to counter their attacks,” added Rosier.
It was an overall team effort for the UPWVT as each player poured their heart and soul on the court. Veterans Molde and Buitre continued to be the pillar for the team, producing 16 and 14 each. Gannaban added 11 points, while Layug had 9. Ayel Estrañero provided much support with 29 excellent sets, while rookies Mirgie Bautista and Rem Altomea continued to impress as liberos.
For FEU, four players scored in double digits, with Heather Guino-o leading the team with 17 points. Cel Domingo also poured 16 markers.
Game 2 of the PVL Collegiate Conference Finals will be on Wednesday (Sept 12), 6pm at the Filoil Flying V Arena.