A Rookie Record And More: The Moments That Defined Another Crucial UAAP Volleyball Weekend

From a record reset, to breakthrough wins, here’s how one of the last Season 86 UAAP volleyball elimination weekends unfolded.

At a glance, last weekend’s set of UAAP volleyball games were calm–no marquee matchups, and it was the Final Four squads against their also-ran counterparts. In short, the better teams won and in convincing fashion at that. 

However, there’s still a lot to celebrate beyond these one-sided victories. For instance, a super rookie has (again) reset the record–or probably more–while a long-time coach has eclipsed his best win total since joining his team.

Here’s a small recap of what you might have missed. 

Young FEU builds off huge upset, notches ninth victory 
UAAP Volleyball: Feu
FEU’s resurgence continues to go well. (Photo Credit: UAAP Season 86 Media Team)

As expected, FEU’s hot streak continues following their huge win over UST. While out of twice-to-beat contention, the Lady Tams notched their ninth win, and fifth straight for the season after beating the UP Lady Maroons in four sets.

Additionally, this win also ties this Lady Tams squad with their UAAP Season 81 counterparts. That squad, which featured Celine Domingo, Lycha Ebon, and Heather Guino-o, finished their eliminations with a 9-5 slate, also good for fourth. 

While unlikely, FEU can end their elimination with a 10-4 slate. But to do that, they have to play spoiler against the NU Lady Bulldogs, which came off an otherwise expected sweep against Adamson. 

But according to head coach Manolo Refugia, FEU is in high spirits right now. Particularly with the UST upset, the Lady Tams’ mindset has been “leveled up”, which has resulted in improved pregame participations.

“So ayun, hopefully matapos namin ‘yung second round nang maganda and makabawi kami sa NU na, sa NU game,” said Refugia.

The Kung Fu Reyes-era UST’s breakthrough 11th win 
UAAP Volleyball: UST
UST keeps their twice-to-beat bid alive AND seals their coach’s best season to date. (Photo Credit: UAAP Season 86 Media Team)

With a 25-19, 25-9, 25-17 sweep, UST secured their 11th win in the Season 86 UAAP volleyball tournament. Save for a slow third-set start, it was a flat-out domination over the Lady Warriors by the Tigresses. 

Win number 11 should mean a lot for UST. Most importantly, it keeps them in contention for a twice-to-beat bid–alongside the NU Lady Bulldogs and La Salle Lady Spikers–heading into the Final Four. 

Historically, the win also solidifies UST head coach Kung Fu Reyes’ best eliminations record since joining the Tigresses in UAAP Season 78. Ironically, it happened with a team who just lost stars like Eya Laure, Imee Hernandez, and Milena Alessandrini heading into Season 86. 

Up next for coach Kung Fu Reyes and his young Tigresses are the La Salle Lady Spikers. More than gunning for win number 12, that matchup could finally resolve the season-long logjam at the top three. 

Napaka-importante nitong game na ‘to [against UE], pero mas importante ‘yung lalaruin namin ng last game kasi nga dun na magdedetermine kung saan kami pupwesto. So we aim for twice-to-beat advantage…especially kaming tatlo, La Salle, NU…actually kami ‘yung saling-pusa dun sa tatlo eh, so makikigulo na talaga kami,” Reyes said after their game. 

Angge’s 268 points…and possibly more 
UAAP Volleyball: Poyos
What a UAAP volleyball rookie year for Angge Poyos. (Photo Credit: UAAP Season 86 Media Team)

With her 25-point outing against UE, UST super rookie Angge Poyos now has 268 points to her name. In just 12 games, she has surpassed the 267-point record set by Faith Nisperos during her UAAP volleyball rookie season with the Ateneo Blue Eagles in Season 84. 

Besides eclipsing Nisperos, Poyos also ties Eya Laure’s UAAP Season 85 tally. To recall, Laure recorded a league-best 268 points in her final season with UST.  

And barring unforeseen circumstances, Poyos is on track to do more. With her 268 points, the super rookie is a point away from matching Alyssa Valdez’s 269 points in her senior season with Ateneo in UAAP Season 78. 

Likewise, the super rookie is also four points away from matching (again) Eya Laure’s career-best 272 points in UAAP Season 84. 

Given Poyos’ importance in the UST offense, it’s well within reach for her to cap off one of the higher scoring individual seasons on a high note. A rookie season at that if anything.

La Salle finds stability after four games
UAAP Volleyball: La Salle
Shorthanded La Salle has played their best game so far. (Photo Credit: UAAP Season 86 Media Team)

Defending champs La Salle arguably played their best game without Angel Canino. Under the leadership of “twin towers” Thea Gagate and Shevana Laput, the Lady Spikers swept their archrivals Ateneo 25-12, 25-12, and 25-18 to close out another UAAP volleyball weekend. 

La Salle also kept their unforced errors to a minimum, only committing 12 throughout the lopsided contest. Beyond the numbers, an eye test shows the renewed confidence of the defending champs, even without Angel Canino. 

Highly understandable, given that their star finally participated in the team’s warmups since injuring her right arm. For the first time in three games, an arm sleeve was on Angel’s arm, instead of a cast and sling. 

With the win, La Salle officially keeps the twice-to-beat bid tight between them, UST and NU. Their dominance over Ateneo also continues, notching their 14th straight victory over the now-rebuilding Blue Eagles. 

As mentioned, La Salle is now set to face UST for one of two twice-to-beat bids in the UAAP volleyball Final Four. Like the Tigresses, the defending champs are also locked in for that looming contest.

“I’m just glad that we’re working together as a team, and going into this last game [against UST] as well as into the finals [Final Four]…I’m really glad to see how we’re performing and I’m excited to show everybody, you know? We’re the Lady Spikers and this is how we play,” said Laput, who notched 15 points built on 12 attack points.

One is now the magic number 
UAAP Volleyball: NU
National U could be the first team to seal their twice-to-beat aspirations.

With NU’s expected dominance against Adamson, alongside UST and La Salle’s breakthroughs, the Final Four will now be shaped by the last elimination game days. NU is first up against FEU on April 24. 

Should NU win against FEU, they end their Season 86 UAAP volleyball campaign with a 12-2 slate, solidifying their twice-to-beat bid. The same applies to the winner of the La Salle and UST tilt on Saturday. 

And these two games would be must-watch television. NU and FEU are the hottest teams in the second round, with no signs of slowing down, while UST and La Salle’s game may mark the return of Angel Canino if the warmups were a telltale sign.

Banner Image Courtesy of the UAAP Season 86 Media Team

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