In a moment that felt ripped from a sports movie pitch, UST is the latest team to defeat NU at UAAP Women’s Volleyball.
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If there was any doubt that Season 85 of UAAP Women’s Volleyball would not live up to the hype, that was quickly disproven with the first set of matches during the opening games on the final weekend of February. We were already treated to the revelation that is Angel Canino in her seniors debut for De La Salle University, and the hits just keep on coming. This time, the latest big moment to come out of season 85 is defending champions NU seeing their historic 20-game win streak be broken by the oldest university in the Philippines, UST.
On Saturday, March 4, thousands of fans packed MOA Arena to watch the NU Lady Bulldogs go up against the UST Golden Tigresses. NU was looking to lengthen their streak while UST was reeling from a loss against the La Salle Lady Spikers. And by the look of things at the beginning of the match, it felt as if UST was going to do the unthinkable as they led in two straight sets with scores of 25-23 and 27-25. But NU rallied and proved why the team is the force of nature that it is. The girls turned back UST and won the following two sets with 25-17 and 25-22 scores.
It was now down to the last set in what proved to be a tense and roller coaster of a game. And in the end, the Tigresses clawed the Bulldogs down to earth as they won the game with a score of 15-11. Before the match, NU was coming off a 16-sweep win in Season 84, the first in UAAP’s history. In fact, the team has been winning since March 4, 2020, literally right before the pandemic started in earnest. NU had an all-star team who knew how to run the court. But UST sharpened their claws for a match and dealt NU a defeat.
In a moment that felt as if destiny was working behind the scenes, it was UST who was the last team to defeat NU back on April 27, 2019, with a score of 27-25, 25-17, 20-25, and 25-16. Since then, NU was on a fire streak that UST had to douse once more.
Leading the way for the Golden Tigresses was superstar Eya Laure who bagged a team-high 18 points along with 14 attacks, 14 excellent digs, and 4 blocks. Rookie Regina Juardo tied with Eya for points earned with Milena Alessandrini also having an impressive game. On the NU side, certified volleyball Ace Alyssa Solomon led the Lady Bulldogs with a game-high of 22 points. Reigning MVP Bella Belen was up next with 17 points.
If NU can take any consolation from the day, their men’s team did defeat UST to a score of 25-20, 25-19, 19-25, and 25-21, extending their win this season to 3-0 and giving the Golden Tigers their first loss of the season. NU and UST did put on a show for us, didn’t they? Collegiate sports history was made on March 4, 2023, and it was only the second weekend of Season 85.
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