Lady Bulldogs bare teeth to shred Lady Falcons for second straight win

Lady Bulldogs bare teeth to shred Lady Falcons for second straight win


Alyssa Solomon NU Lady Bulldogs UAAP volleyball

Alyssa Solomon and the NU Lady Bulldogs in the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament. –MARLO CUETO/

National University’s (NU) string of difficult matchups did not knock its sights off its ultimate target in the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament.

And with the Lady Bulldogs slowly getting their machine humming, they want to keep it that way.

“I think they are getting the motivation from the previous difficult matches,” coach Norman Miguel said in Filipino after a quick 25-17, 25-20, 25-20 ripping of Adamson on Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“They really had the drive, character and pride [this time out],” Miguel added.

NU was rudely welcomed into the new season by University of Santo Tomas (UST) in its opening game, 25-19, 25-23, 25-22, before hardly getting past by what many thought would be a lopsided clash against Ateneo in the next.

The Lady Bulldogs needed all of five sets to dispose of the Blue Eagles, 25-17, 24-26, 26-28, 25-19, 15-7.

“What happened to us in the last two games—we lost to UST in the first game. Second game, even though we won against Ateneo but still, it was a five-setter game,” Miguel added. “It seemed like we lacked pride in that game.”

With the win, the Lady Bulldogs not only recharged their confidence but also found hope of a much better performance as they near the middle of the first round.

Alyssa Solomon was a huge part of that development after delivering 17 points on 14 attacks, two blocks and an ace, while Season 84 Rookie of the Year-Most Valuable Player Bella Belen displayed her offense, adding 15 points—all from attacks.

Ateneo triumphs

Vange Alinsug helped NU with 12 points that includes two blocks and six excellent digs.

In the second game, Ateneo completed a come-from-behind win over University of the Philippines, 22-25, 20-25, 25-22, 25-17, 15-9. The Blue Eagles extended their dominance over the Fighting Maroons to eight games, dropping their Katipunan Ave. neighbors to a 14th straight loss dating back to Season 85.

NU knows that it can use those few previous hiccups as last season’s runner-up works its way back to a familiar perch.

“Slowly, slowly, yes. We can see ourselves rising. We are much better off seeing ourselves rise in the few games of the first round,” Miguel said. “Instead of peaking early then suddenly flopping.

“So that’s what we are taking care of.”

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“We always remind [our players] to prepare mentally, not only during the game, but also in trainings,” he said. “We always go back to our goal for this season. We always go back to that so we are reminded during trainings, if we are not giving a hundred percent, when they remember our objective, our goal, we can adjust quickly.”


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