When push comes to shove, there is just no bigger motivation than desperation.
Determined not to fall victim to Ateneo for the third straight year, La Salle survived an early onslaught from its rivals to reclaim the UAAP Women’s volleyball championship, 19-25, 25-21, 25-16, 25-16 yesterday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.
The Lady Spikers ended a two year drought which saw them fall to an Alyssa Valdez-powered Lady Eagles for two straight years after claiming back to back titles in 2012 and 2013.
All in all, it’s La Salle’s ninth straight title in women’s volleyball.
Facing an early storm with Valdez picking up where she came from in Game Two, the Lady Spikers remained unwaivered, kept their eyes on the prize and kept grinding until the final whistle.
Boy they were rewarded heftily.
After being peppered by missiles in the first set by Valdez, the Lady Spikers slowly adjusted and started turning the tide to their favor.
Behind finals MVP Kim Dy and some surprising attacks from setter Kim Fajardo the Lady Spikers survived a 12 point performance from Valdez in the second set to tie the game at one set apiece.
And in the final two sets, La Salle was simply just on another level.
With a much improved net defense and the resurgence of Ara Galang who struggled in the first two sets, there was simply no need for a dramatic finish as the Lady Spikers were just too much for them.
The Lady Spikers opened the fourth set with a 10-3 run behind Dy and some head scratching Ateneo errors and never looked back.
La Salle even took a 12 point lead twice, the last one at 21-9, as fatigue finally caught up to the prolific Valdez in the end.
And as the 22,848 people in attendance anxiously awaited La Salle’s coronation, it was Dy who fittingly delivered the killer blow as her cross court kill ended the game for good.
“We just gave it our all and we enjoyed the game. Yun lang talaga ang formula,” said Dy who finished with 17 points, 16 coming from kills.
“We dedicated it to our seniors kasi last game na nila ito kaya we want to make sure we give them a fitting ending,” she added.