DLSU extends mastery over Ateneo in nail-biter

It was a classic rivalry match between De La Salle University and Ateneo de Manila University.,But just like in their past eight encounters, the Lady Spikers walked away with the win.,DLSU clawed its way out of a 1-2 match deficit and survived a gritty archrival to eke out a thrilling 19-25, 25-18, 20-25, 25-22, 15-12, victory in the UAAP Season 84 women’s volleyball tournament Tuesday at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.,Alleiah Malaluan and Baby Jyne Soreño scored 17 points each to pace the Lady Spikers in their 10th win in 13 games to keep a tight grip of the second spot behind unbeaten National University.,Malaluan also added 13 excellent receptions and 12 digs for an all-around performance in DLSU’s ninth straight win over the Blue Eagles in the last six years.,Jolina dela Cruz had 14 markers and 15 excellent receptions, Thea Gagate scored 12 while setter Mars Alba dished out 22 excellent sets to help the Taft-based squad, which boosted its bid for a twice-to-beat advantage in the semifinals.,Ahead by just a point in the deciding fifth set, La Salle strung together three straight points with two of them coming from Blue Eagles errors to reach match point, 14-10.,Ateneo saved two match points off a kill block by Faith Nisperos and a service ace by Takako Fujimoto. Soreño stopped the Blue Eagles dead in their tracks with an off-the-block kill to end the two-hour, 49-minute showdown.,“Ang message lang talaga is kailangan gustuhin niyo,” said Lady Spikers assistant coach Benson Bocboc. “Kung mas gugustuhin niyo, makukuha natin. Talagang ginusto nila, bawat point makikita niyo napakahirap.”,Faith Nisperos dropped a game-high 29 points with 15 excellent receptions for Ateneo. Erika Raagas chipped in 17 markers.,The Blue Eagles fell to 7-6, still at fourth.