La Salle showed up with the bigger heart and the smarter plays to end Ateneo’s two-year reign in women’s volleyball.
Frustrated by a five-set loss in Game 2, the Lady Spikers this time held their ground and came up big in the third and fourth sets to put away the defending champion Ateneo Lady Eagles, 19-25, 25-21 25-15, 25-15, yesterday in Game 3 of the UAAP women’s volleyball finals at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Lady Spikers beat La Salle, 2-1, for the crown, their ninth overall in the UAAP.
Third-year player Kim Kianna Dy, who dedicated her game to five teammates who are graduating this season, proved the spark La Salle needed. Her gutsy performance was rewarded by the Finals MVP honors.
The 5’10 Dy made 17 points, 16 on attacks, as La Salle raced to a 9-2 edge in the fourth, where she combined for blocks twice with Mary Joy Baron, and then another with Mika Reyes.
Several plays later, Dy combined with Cyd Demecillo to turn back the attacks of Jhoanna Maraguinot and Alyssa Valdez, as La Salle built a commanding cushion, 14-4.
Valdez, who hit 34 points when she led the Lady Eagles 18-25, 26-28, 25-17, 25-16, 15-11 win over the Lady Spikers in Game 2, again led Ateneo with 31 points, but could not lead Ateneo this time in the 1 hour, 2 minute match watched by a crowd of 22,848.
De Jesus said the players learned from their mistakes from Game 2.
“Sabi ko sa kanila, matuto tayo dito. Ayun, sumunod sila sa game plan,” said De Jesus.
The Lady Spikers dedicated their title conquest to graduating teammates Mika Reyes, Mika Esperanza, Carol Ann Cerveza, Ara Galang and Cy Demecillo.