Matchpoint: Poise for a comeback

The women’s volleyball war in the UAAP Season 80 is soon going to determine which team will make it to the Final Four.

This Saturday, four teams with different win-loss card in the standings are eager to make it to the Final Four cut.

In the first match, the Lady Maroons, currently ranked sixth, will take on the Tigresses who hold a 2-7 win-loss slate for the eight place. The Tigresses are on a five-game losing skid and are looking to end that streak.

For the main event, the Lady Bulldogs are looking for a repeat first round win against the Lady Eagles.

In this episode of Matchpoint, FOX Sports brings you the stats of the four teams during their first round encounter.

Set scores: 31-33, 25-23, 25-16, 25-12

Winner: University of the Philippines

Best Players: Tots Carlos (32 points; 27 attacks, 3 blocks, 2 aces)
Sisi Rondina: (23 points all from attacks)

During this game, Rondina and Carlos had a scoring clash with the latter dominating with 32 points.

But the main take away of this game is the Diliman-based crew’s blocking which silenced the Espana-based spikers. The Fighting Maroons scored 14 points in this department as compared to the Tigresses’ measly three, all coming from middle hitter Tin Francisco.

Another take away in this match is the playmaking where UP’s Rose Cailing proved to be the more versatile setter outsetting UST’s Alina Bicar, 31-20.

Finally, the reception woes of the Tigresses took its toll against their team only having 26 as compared to the Lady Maroons’ 35. This prompted the setter Bicar to go often go to her open spikers.

If UST wants to score a win against UP they need to fix their reception and their play-making, especially Rondina now is a marked spiker. Adding to their woes is that their morale is very low since they are coming off five-straight losses.

Will UST finally stop the lump or will UP add up another W in their record?

NU vs Ateneo

Set scores: 25-19, 25-19, 20-25, 12-25, 15-7

Winner: National University

Best Players: Jaja Santiago (26 points; 20 attacks, 4 blocks, 2 aces)
Jho Maraguinot (16 points; 15 attacks, 1 ace)

The Lady Bulldogs could have easily won this game in straight sets.

But the Lady Eagles had something different in their heads and clawed back from a 2-0 set deficit only to succumb in the fifth and deciding set.

While Ateneo lose this game, it was fights well fought for them since they were able to stretch the game to the limit. The effort, however, proved futile.

NU’s Jaja Santiago as usual became the reckoning force for her team scoring from different skill sets. Jho Maraguinot, on the other hand, topscored the Ateneo side with 16.

Despite committing more errors of 36 as compared to their opponent’s 30, the Lady Bulldogs leaned on their attack prowess outattacking the Lady Eagles, 45-37.

In the blocking department, it was NU who had a more stellar net defense with Jaja and Roselyn Doria providing the needed manpower, 9-6.

As to service aces, the two teams are not too far from each other as Ateneo had 14 while NU had 13.

For sure, the Katipunan-based squad had studied the pattern of the Lady Bulldogs before coming into their second round match-up this afternoon. NU, on the other hand, is looking to bounce back from a severe beating from the defending champions De La Salle University.

Will Ateneo finally find the potion to beat NU or will NU yet again add another W in their record?