A career-high for Justine Dorog wasn’t enough to bag their fourth win of UAAP 81 as the UP Lady Fighting Maroons lost to the NU Lady Bulldogs in five sets.
UP looked lost in the first set as NU took an early commanding lead, 1-10. The Maroons tried to crawl back with a 6-1 run behind power plays from Dorog and Rosie Rosier. However, errors in first ball reception led to 9 easy service aces for the Bulldogs and the set win, 17-25.
The Lady Maroons found renewed energy in the second as they cruised to a comfortable 8-point lead heading to the FTT, 16-8.
Helping turn things around was Ayie Gannaban, who had a fiery performance to tie the match at one set apiece, 25-14. UP took advantage of NU’s 11 errors in the set, while leading with 11 attacks.
Dorog, who was celebrating her birthday, was a girl on fire throughout the match. Scoring 6 points in the first two sets, she continued her great play in the third. With Tots Carlos’ help, the Diliman squad mounted a 10-2 surge. They eventually sealed the third, 25-17.
Set four was a tight back-and-forth between the two teams. The Maroons and the Bulldogs took turns with the lead, with UP holding a slight advantage late in the canto.
Struggling since their last match against ADMU, Isa Molde finally got her mojo back, scoring back-to-back points in the fourth. However, a late push by NU found them holding a 1-point lead and the set point. A service error by the Maroons eventually forced a fifth set, 23-25.
The Bulldogs were in unfamiliar territory as they entered their first five-set match of season 81. The set went down the wire with several match points. NU, however, booked their second win of the tournament with a 14-17 set victory.
Dorog played inspired ball as she set a new career-high, 15 points. Carlos delivered 15, while Molde had 13. Gannaban and Maris Layug added 9 markers each.
NU had four players with double digit points, led by Princess Robles with 17.
A face-off with the Adamson Lady Falcons will end the UP Lady Fighting Maroons’s first round schedule. The match will be on March 17 (Sunday) at the Filoil Flying V Arena.