Downer ending for UST’s fairytale run as Lady Bulldogs win championship

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The UST Golden Tigresses’ underdog story concluded with a silver medal after falling to the NU Lady Bulldogs in Game 2 of the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball finals, 23-25, 25-23, 25-27, 16-25 at the Mall of Asia Arena on Wednesday.

Despite missing Rookie of the Year Angge Poyos for most of the match, the Tigresses had opportunities but were ultimately overpowered by the Lady Bulldogs, who dominated with a 13-6 blocking advantage.

The first three sets were tightly contested, but the Lady Bulldogs flexed their championship pedigree by dominating the fourth set, 25-16, securing their second title in three years.

Alyssa Solomon led NU with 27 points, earning Finals MVP honors, while Bella Belen, the Season 86 MVP, scored 19 points.

Poyos, limited by injury, started the first two sets but was mostly sidelined, contributing just one point.

Xyza Gula, who finished with 18 markers, gave the team productive minutes especially in the third set, where UST had two set points but couldn’t capitalize as Belen’s late surge secured the set for NU.

UST took the second set thanks to strong performances from Gula, Regina Jurado, and Em Banagua. Jurado and Banagua each contributed 13 points, while Jonna Perdido added 14 points.

The Tigresses attempted a surprise by starting Poyos, but their mid-set efforts fell short, and NU drew first blood, 25-23.

Despite finishing with a silver medal, this season marks UST’s best performance since Season 81, having failed to reach the Final Four in previous years.

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