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NU begins title defense with decisive victory

National University’s Bella Belen attacks Ateneo’s Beautiliza Lomocso during the UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball tournament on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023, at the Mall of Asia Arena. UAAP PHOTO

NATIONAL University (NU) began its title-retention bid with a 25-15, 25-20, 25-16 sweep of Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) on Saturday in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 85 women’s volleyball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Alyssa Solomon scored 12 points to lead the Lady Bulldogs, who stretched their winning run to 17 games dating back to their sweep of Season 84 last year.

Ces Robles finished with 11 markers and eight excellent digs, while reigning MVP Bella Belen added eight points and five excellent receptions.

Lams Lamina notched 17 excellent sets as Erin Pangilinan and Sheena Toring notched seven points each.

“I’m thankful to the Man above because we got the win. This is a big thing for us. This is a fresh start for us,” said NU head coach Karl Dimaculangan.

After pulling away from the Blue Eagles midway of the first two sets, the Lady Bulldogs started dominating the third frame.

NU enjoyed an 18-5 lead in the third set and eventually got within match point, 24-11.

Ateneo saved five match points before a Faith Nisperos’ service error allowed the Lady Bulldogs to bag the win.

Vanie Gandler contributed eight points and nine excellent receptions as AC Miner top scored for the Blue Eagles with nine points.

Nisperos chipped in eight points and five excellent digs.

Meanwhile, Adamson University blanked University of the East in the first game of the women’s double-header, 25-19, 25-9, 25-5.

The Lady Falcons limited the Lady Red Warriors to their second worst output in UAAP women’s volleyball history after UE’s 2-25, 15-25, 8-25 loss to UST in 2010.

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