UAAP 81: UP wins come-from-behind five-setter vs UE

The UP Lady Fighting Maroons proved why they’re a contender in UAAP Season 81. Showing much heart and relentlessness, the Lady Fighting Maroons secured their first W with a come-from-behind victory against the powerful UE Lady Red Warriors at today’s game. 

The Lady Maroons kicked off the season with guns blazing as they torched the Lady Warriors in set one. Led by Isa Molde and Tots Carlos, UP looked every bit like a champion, overwhelming their opponents with spikes and aces. Marist Layug signaled the start of her block party as she defended the net against UE’s strong attacks.

Justine Dorog, who was a former libero, strutted her versatility, scoring 5 points off of attacks in the first. UP sealed the first set of their first game in UAAP 81 at 25-12.

UE fights back

The second found the Red Warriors in the lead. The squad from Recto shocked the ladies from Diliman as they found better footing to throw the Maroons off and lead by as much as 6 points. The 14 unforced errors proved costly for UP as UE tied the game at one set each, 22-25.

It was the Isa Molde show at the start of the third, as the PVL MVP served attacks upon attacks to give UP a comfortable lead into the FTT, 8-4.

UE mounted a 6-0 run, but three straight points from Layug stopped the bleeding for UPWVT and sparked a 5-0 spree of its own. 

Not letting up, the Judith Abil-led squad pushed an 8-2 run of their own to tie at 21-all and eventually seal the comeback, 23-25.

UP, not backing down

Trying to stay alive, Ayel Estrañero’s services helped her team lead 10-1 in the fourth. However, following the narrative of the last two sets, UE charged to keep up with UP.

Captain Carlos wasn’t ready to go home, pushing her team to a lead. A running attack from Jessma Ramos forced the match to a five-set face-off, 25-19.

The fifth saw a different UPWVT as seniors Molde, Dorog, Ramos and rookie, Lorie Bernardo showed nothing but heart. UP sealed the hard-earned victory, 15-12.

Molde put up MVP-like numbers with 23. But the victory was anything but a one-man game, with the whole team providing the needed numbers to put the game away. Carlos and Dorog both had big nights with 17 and 12 apiece. Layug, Ramos, and Bernardo added a total of 18, while Estrañero had a remarkable 44 excellent sets.

UPWVT will face their PVL Finals opponents in the FEU Lady Tamaraws on Feb. 20 (Wednesday), 4pm at the Filoil Flying V Arena.

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