The UP Lady Fighting Maroons ended UAAP 81 with a loss in a hard-fought match against the Adamson Lady Falcons.
It was an emotional match for UPWVT as veterans Ayel Estrañero and Marian Buitre played their last UAAP match after donning the Maroon and Green for five years.
The team fought hard to keep their lead early in the first set. But the determined Lady Falcons mounted a 13-5 run to take a 5-point advantage, 19-13.
Packed with long rallies, the league-leader in digs struggled with their floor defense, giving AdU the advantage in the set. Not backing down, UP tried to come back with a 5-1 surge to stay within 4 points but it was Adamson who drew first blood, 25-20.
The defense woes continued in the second canto for the Maroons, as the Falcons pulled away mid-set with a 7-1 run to make it 15-10.
Tots Carlos and Isa Molde tried to rewrite the narrative of the previous set with back-to-back attacks. The entry of Rosie Rosier also helped re-energize the squad.
UP was able to save three set points to stay within a point, 24-23, but it wasn’t enough as the Falcons also took set two, 25-23.
Adamson led the first two sets in attacks and service aces.
Buitre showed much heart in the third as she tried to bring the Lady Fighting Maroons back into the game. In the end, it was AdU who bagged the final match of the season, 25-19.
Carlos led with 13 points, followed by Molde with 10. In their last collegiate game, Buitre poured 4 markers, while Ayel Estrañero led with 20 excellent sets.
Despite a losing effort, the UP community showed much love to the team as the Filoil Flying V Arena roared with cheers for the Lady Fighting Maroons.
UPWVT ends their UAAP Season 81 campaign in fifth place — a spot higher than last year.