Kenneth Joshua Dalde

After concluding their 65-year title drought to an almost crowning moment in their previous season’s heartbreak, the NU Lady Bulldogs made their golden redemption today as they swept the UST Lady Tigresses, 25-23, 23-25, 27-25, 25-16, in Game 2 of the UAAP Women’s Volleyball Season 86 Finals held at the Mall of Asia Arena, May 15. 

Photo courtesy of  Julius Domondon & Joaqui Flores/UAAP Season 86 Media Team.

NU proved that finals were familiar territory for them as they clinched their fourth overall championship and their second in their three straight finals appearances since season 84. 

Finals MVP and Two-time Best Opposite Spiker Alyssa Solomon led the way as she sizzled 27 points on the strength of 20 attacks, four blocks, and three aces. 

“We are very happy that we did not give up easily. We really fought the game earlier, especially during the entire season, because we went through a lot as a team. And I'm very happy with my team because we still held on to each other,” said Solomon.

Another trophy was added to Mhicaela Belen’s collection, who scored 19 points, bagging her second Season’s MVP award.

It was in the third set that the Lady Bulldogs became much wilder, erasing the four-point deficit of UST, 17-18.

 Lady Tigresses, who were hunting for their 17th crown, remained composed after a monstrous block by Xyza Gula to Belen, 20-17.

Both teams had a see-saw battle in the latter part of the frame, where UST took two set-point advantages but was denied by the Lady Bulldogs with Sheena Toring’s towering block against Gula to snatch the set.

NU continued to seize the momentum in the fourth set, which helped them enjoy a comfortable seven-point cushion, 22-15.

Two-time Best Outside Spiker Belen refused to give UST hope after its costly error as she unleashed two consecutive attacks to reach the championship point.

Toring fired a quick attack in the middle, but UST called a block-touch challenge that they immediately withdrew, leading NU to seal the match.

Evangeline Alinsug and Toring produced 13 and 10 markers, respectively.

Meanwhile, Gula shone the brightest for UST with her season-high performance of 18 points, following Rookie of the Year Angeline Poyos’ off game, who only managed to score one point due to an ankle injury she sustained in Game 1.

It is a double championship celebration for the NU community as they also won in the UAAP Men’s Volleyball earlier to complete their four-peat.