National University (NU) Dominates Game 1 of UAAP Women’s Volleyball Finals against UST

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National University One Win Away from Reclaiming the Crown

In a thrilling match, National University (NU) is just one win away from reclaiming the crown they lost to De La Salle University (DLSU) last year. The Lady Bulldogs dominated the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Golden Tigresses in Game 1 of the UAAP Season 86 Women’s Volleyball Best-of-3 Finals, winning with a score of 25-23, 25-20, 25-20 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Saturday.

Alyssa Solomon Leads NU to Victory

Alyssa Solomon was the star of the match, leading NU with 17 points, including 14 attacks and three blocks. She also contributed eight digs to help secure the victory. Bella Belen also had an impressive performance, scoring 13 points, along with eight digs and six receptions. The Lady Bulldogs showcased their composure, which seemed to have been refined after surviving their final four games against Far Eastern University (FEU).

Experience vs. Rookies and Sophomores

NU’s core players, who have been in the finals for three consecutive years, displayed their experience and composure, while UST, composed mainly of rookies and sophomores, competed in their first big dance together. This difference in experience was evident as the Lady Bulldogs looked a lot more composed throughout the match.

Unfortunately for UST, their ace spiker and MVP contender, Angge Poyos, suffered an ankle injury in the second set. Poyos twisted her right ankle after stepping on a teammate’s foot during a block attempt. She did not return to the game, leaving UST without their best player for the remainder of the contest.

Despite the absence of Poyos, UST fought hard, with Jonna Perdido leading the team with 17 points and Regina Jurado contributing 10 points. However, they struggled to put together a run without their star player, and NU took advantage of this, with Solomon, Belen, Vangie Alinsug, and Sheena Toring taking turns in subduing the Tigresses.

NU Bulldogs Also Triumph in Men’s Championship Game 1

Not only did the NU Lady Bulldogs secure a win, but their men’s counterpart also claimed victory in the series opener of the men’s championship. The Bulldogs denied the UST Golden Spikers with a score of 25-17, 26-24, 25-19. Nico Almendras played a crucial role in putting the Bulldogs on the cusp of their fourth straight crown, amassing 16 points and 19 receptions. Michaelo Buddin and Leo Aringo also had impressive performances, contributing 16 and 15 points, respectively.

Joshua Retamar orchestrated NU’s offense, showcasing excellent sets that ran like a well-oiled machine. The Bulldogs finally got a win against the Golden Spikers, who had swept their elimination round series 2-0. Josh Ybañez led UST with 10 points, five receptions, and three digs.

Looking Ahead

The NU Lady Bulldogs and Bulldogs will both aim to finish the series on Wednesday, May 15. The Lady Bulldogs will try to secure the championship title in Game 2, while the Bulldogs will strive to claim their fourth straight crown. With their impressive performances in the series openers, both NU teams are in a strong position to emerge as champions once again.

Source: The Manila Times

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