Home Sports Ateneo eases past UP in UAAP women’s volleyball

Ateneo eases past UP in UAAP women’s volleyball

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Ateneo uaap season 86

Ateneo Blue Eagles. MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines— It’s either the Ateneo Blue Eagles were just exceptionally good on Sunday at the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball or the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons simply played real bad.

The Blue Eagles demolished their fumbling neighbors from Katipunan without pity, 25-14, 25-20, 25-15, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, inching up the standings and rewarding themselves a chance to go deeper into the tournament.

Zel Tsunashima unleashed 16 points highlighted by 13 attacks on top of three blocks and two receptions in a formidable offensive teamup with Lyann De Guzman, Sophia Buena and AC Miner.

SCHEDULE: UAAP Season 86 volleyball second round

“We hope to stay consistent and be more aggressive in the second round. I’ve been pushing myself because I want to help Sophie (Buena) and Lyann,” said Tsunashima.

After sealing the first set with a fluid offense while effectively guarding their fort, the Blue Eagles persisted in searching for gaps in the frail UP defense.

AC Miner eventually found those holes and with hitters Buena, De Guzman and Tsunashima, they formed a scoring quartet that made everything look smooth and easy.

Buena pumped in a crosscourt hit followed by an ace and another De Guzman energetic foray put Ateneo in control.

Tsunashima accounted for her team’s last four attacks capped by a spike through the block at set point as the Blue Eagles seemed headed toward sweeping the match.

“Now everybody came to see how the Ateneo team played the level it can play. No matter the opponent, we try to play our best each time,” said Ateneo coach Sergio Veloso.

The Blue Eagles improved to fifth with a 3-6 record, just a notch below the fourth-running Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws.

“We are focused on the Final 4. Each point is important, each set is important,” said Veloso.

Languishing at the bottom of the pack, the Lady Maroons plummeted further with only one victory to show in nine games.

Stephanie Bustrillo was the lone bright spot for UP after compiling 63 points the past four games capped by seven attacks on Sunday in another losing effort.

Roma Doromal helped protect Ateneo’s stronghold with 13 excellent receptions and eight digs while Takako Fujimoto had nine sets.

“We have embraced the system that coach Sergio has instilled and hopefully we reach the Final 4,” said Doromal.

The Blue Eagles continued to wear down their opponents in the final set, quickly pulling themselves to safer ground early with a comfortable cushion.

Zey Pacia’s block and a Tsunashima crosscourt strike plus UP’s maze of errors helped build the 15-6 separation they needed.



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They never looked back with De Guzman teaming up with Pacia, Tsunashima and the seldom-used Rosal Selga and Faye Nisperos for the finishing touches.





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