Adamson University ended National University Nazareth School’s 23-match winning streak and forced a winner-take-all in the UAAP Season 85 High School Girls’ Volleyball Finals with a thrilling 21-25, 25-20, 20-25, 25-21, 15-13 win on Saturday at the Paco Arena in Manila.
The Lady Bullpups’ streak dated back to Season 82 when they swept the tournament 14-0, including the championship series sweep of the Baby Falcons.
The deciding Game 3 is scheduled Monday at 9 a.m at the same Manila venue.
Back-to-back errors from the Lady Bullpups extended the lead for the Baby Falcons to 12-9, and they eventually won the match and the series equalizer with a back-row kill from First Best Outside Hitter Shaina Nitura, followed by Felicity Sagaysay sending the ball over that NUNS could not return.
“Sabi ko sa kanila, kailangan nilang maging matapang. Hindi natin pwedeng idaan lang sa skills natin ang NU, dapat matibay rin ang loob natin,” said first-year coach JP Yude on the Baby Falcons’ mindset heading into their no-tomorrow match.
Both teams started the match well, but NUNS took advantage of Adamson’s errors to pull off comfortable margins in the first set and win 25-21. The Baby Falcons, however, cleaned up their passing lanes to set up their offense well, and with Shaina Nitura doing the damage, Adamson equalized the match at one set apiece with a score of 25-20.
The Lady Bullpups then won the third set, leaning on Season Most Valuable Player Olango and Second Best Outside Hitter Celine Marsh. Leading by just two at 22-20 after a timeout, Olango fired back-to-back kills before Marsh took care of business at the net to send NUNS one set away from the championship.
Adamson, though, would take advantage of its foes’ errors late in the fourth set, before a Nitura ace sent them to set point and fuelled yet another leveler for the challengers.
“Same pa rin, kumbaga yung mga kulang lang yung dapat naming ayusin. So, same thing, rest and maybe later or tomorrow training, tapos laban ulit sa Monday,” said Yude.
The best student-athletes of the tournament were feted earlier before the match, and joining MVP and Best Opposite Hitter Olango, Marsh, and Nitura are Best Setter Abegail Pono of NUNS, Best Libero Juris Manuel of Adamson, and Best Middle Blockers Klarisse Loresco of Far Eastern University-Diliman, and Margarette Althea of University of Santo Tomas. Janessa Buhay of the Lady Bullpups was named the Rookie of the Year.