The UST Junior Golden Tigresses fell to the National University-Nazareth School Lady Bullpups in four sets, 20-25, 24-26, 25-18, 23-25, in the step-ladder semifinals game of the UAAP Season 86 high school girls’ volleyball tournament on Tuesday, Feb. 6, at the Filoil EcoOil Centre.
The second-seeded Junior Golden Tigresses bowed down to the defending high school girls’ volleyball champion Lady Bullpups, ending their season on the podium with a bronze medal.
UST’s last Finals appearance dates back in Season 80, where they were also defeated by the eventual champions NUNS.
After yielding the first two sets, the Junior Golden Tigresses set the tone on the third set with a strong 6-2 start, led by last season’s second best middle blocker Margaret Altea. UST took over the third frame, 25-18.
Tied at 23-apiece in the fourth set after a Jacquelin Lipat power kill play, the duo of Kianne Olango and Den Daylisan catapulted the Lady Bullpups to two crucial points, 23-25, booking NUNS to their third-straight Finals appearance.
Down 10-16, UST rallied for multiple consecutive deadlocks late in the second set before NUNS prevailed over the Junior Golden Tigresses’ efforts, 24-26.
The Lady Bullpups capitalized on the Junior Golden Tigresses’ pivotal errors and unsuccessful challenges in the first two frames to secure a 2-0 edge against UST.
Meanwhile, the Lady Bullpups will face the Adamson Baby Falcons, who bolstered an undefeated record this season, in a best-of-three Finals matchup, with Game 1 scheduled on Thursday, Feb. 8, at the same venue.