MANILA, Philippines – For the first time in the UAAP Season 80 women's volleyball tournament, defending champion De La Salle University is at the top of the league standings.
The Lady Spikers have spent most of the first round chasing National University (NU), but they finally reached the top spot on Wednesday after beating University of the Philippines (UP) in straight sets, 25-15, 25-19, 25-19. At 7-2, they are half a game ahead of the idle Lady Bulldogs, who have a 6-2 record.
But La Salle veteran Kianna Dy knows they still have a long way to go before they can officially secure one of the top two spots in the standings, which will give them a twice-to-beat bonus in the Final 4.
"We take it one step at a time, so game per game," said Dy, who had 14 points on five kills, five aces, and four blocks against the Lady Maroons. "Continue improving sa ano ang kulang sa amin, and from there, laban."
The Lady Spikers won in comfortable fashion against UP, firing 15 aces against the Lady Maroons and easily fending off their opponent's attempts at a comeback.
It was a fitting follow-up to their impressive win against NU last Saturday, where the Lady Spikers displayed championship poise in winning the first two sets in cardiac fashion, before eventually cruising in the third frame.
Two consecutive straight set victories is a good sign for La Salle, considering their struggles to put away teams in the first round. Dy acknowledged that their killer instinct is slowly but surely improving as they progress in the season.
"There are times na kulang pa, because there are times na malaki 'yung lamang, hahabol pa 'yung mga lumalaban," she observed. "So that's one thing we're working on pa lang."
"It's a work in progress," she added.
The Lady Spikers will try to make it four wins in a row on Sunday when they take on a confident Far Eastern University team. They labored to a five-set victory over the Lady Tamaraws when they met in the first round, and the defending champions are anticipating another tough encounter.
"Inside the court, we treat each team equally," said Dy. "Walang mahina, walang malakas. Preparation for every team will be the same."
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