UAAP volleyball: Ateneo eliminates UST, sets up showdown vs La Salle

Faith Nisperos and the Ateneo Blue Eagles survive another do-or-die showdown. –UAAP PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines–Faith Nisperos took control of Ateneo’s endgame, scoring its last five points to help defeat University of Santo Tomas, 25-23, 25-23, 25-20 Tuesday night and level up to the second round of the UAAP Season 84 women’s volleyball step-ladder semifinals at Mall of Asia Arena.

The 5-foot-11 open spiker unloaded 23 points for the Blue Eagles who will next take on the twice-to-beat La Salle Lady Spikers in the second round on Thursday.

Ateneo took control early zooming to an 11-6 lead as UST struggled on defense. But soon enough the Tigresses found their groove, igniting a 10-4 rally to take a slim 16-15 lead at the technical timeout of the opening set.

UST clicked on defense scoring four kill-blocks in the first frame to frustrate Ateneo spikers but the Blue Eagles turned the tables, blocking Eya Laure at set-point to draw first blood.

The Tigresses grabbed an 18-14 lead in the next set on a smash by Laure only to see the Blue Eagles scoring the next seven points for a 21-18 lead.

Yet Laure and Ysa Jimenez tried to push UST with hits to take a 23-22 advantage. That’s before Nisperos and Vanessa Gandler stepped on the gas, scoring back-to-back before a kill-block secured the set for Ateneo.

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