IT was a tight match between two strong teams. In the end, the Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles pulled off a come-from-behind win over Creamline Cool Smashers in a match that went down the wire, 22-25, 16-25, 25-21, 25-20, 15-13, on the first day of the Stars and Spikes Invitational Tournament at the University of San Jose-Recoletos Basak Coliseum yesterday.
After taking the first two sets, everyone was expecting Creamline to finish the game. However, Ateneo came from out of nowhere and took the next three sets and the victory.
As Creamline was poised to sweep the match, Ateneo then put on a fight in the third set with thunderous kill by Jules Samonte to cap off the third set and to keep Ateneo’s chances alive.
The chill in the room was a welcome feeling to how hot the game was going in the court as the fourth set delivered another win to the Blue Eagles who had 25 points while the Cool Smashers who were shy of 5 points, scored only 20.
Fans dancing to the Creamline Ice Cream jingle in between timeouts were silenced due to the excitement of the fifth set. Even Coach Anusorin “Thai” Bundit, who was sitting with the spectators all throughout the friendly match turned serious after allowing selfies with fans when Rosemarie Vargas served first in the final set.
In the final set, the Alyssa Valdez and Jia Morado combo gave the match the spice it needed, especially when Valdez dove in for the towards Morado, who completed the task by hitting it smack into an empty spot in Ateneo’s backline, which turned the coliseum, clearly a Valdez country, into a frenzy.
However, it was all Creamline could muster as Maddie Madayag and Deana Wong proved to be a force to be reckoned with in Ateneo’s frontline as their block sealed the team’s victory.
In the preliminary game, the Southwestern University and the University of San Jose-Recoletos gave the crowd an appetizer of what was to come with SWU winning in four sets, 25-22, 25-20, 22-25, 25-21.
The games resume today at the same venue. The proceeds of the competition will go to Cogon Pardo and Boot Senior Citizen. (Tessa Frances T. Aguilar, USJR Intern)