May 24, 2024

Asserting dominance: A look back at La Salle’s 13-game winning streak over Ateneo

Asserting dominance: A look back at La Salle’s 13-game winning streak over Ateneo
Over the years, several notable DLSU Lady Spikers have led the Taft-based squad to victory over the Ateneo Blue Eagles. Art by Mitzi Diyan/One Sports

13 games in a row.

The De La Salle Lady Spikers clearly have had the upper hand whenever they faced the Ateneo Blue Eagles over the past handful of years.

For a time, the two arch-rivals went head-to-head in every match they fought, whether it be in the elimination round or the UAAP Finals, where they met for six straight times from Seasons 74-79..

But since that fateful Season 79 Finals, the second of a DLSU three-peat, a switch has been clearly flipped for the Ramil De Jesus-led Lady Spikers as they now continue to one-up their rivals at every turn from that point on.

Here’s a look back at how DLSU’s dominance over Ateneo started:

 

May 2, 2017 (Game 1 of UAAP Season 79 Finals)

It all started back in Game 1 of the UAAP Season 79 Finals where the Lady Spikers defeated the Blue Eagles in four sets, 21-25, 29-27, 25-22, 25-20.

Back then, La Salle still had the likes of Tin Tiamzon, who led the defending champions with 15 points in the victory, as well as Kianna Dy, Desiree Cheng, and Kim Fajardo.

Ateneo, meanwhile, had Jhoana Maraguinot, Bea De Leon, and Michelle Morente leading the charge for the team.

 

May 6, 2017 (Game 2 of UAAP Season 79 Finals)

Of course, La Salle went on to secure back-to-back titles after a thrilling five-set victory over Ateneo, 19-25, 25-14, 18-25, 25-18, 15-10.

Des Cheng bagged the Finals MVP award after firing 12 points in Game 2.

 

March 3, 2018 (1st round of UAAP Season 80)

The two teams would meet once more in the first round of UAAP Season 80 where the Lady Spikers would once again overpower the Blue Eagles in four sets, 25-20, 25-17, 24-26, 25-20.

Dy led La Salle to victory with 21 points, built on 11 attacks, seven blocks, and three service aces.

Maraguinot, on the other hand, top-scored for the Ateneo with 13 markers.

 

April 15, 2018 (2nd round of UAAP Season 80)

As the two teams met in the second round of UAAP Season 80, La Salle played spoiler to an Ateneo team that was seeking a twice-to-beat advantage, sweeping their rivals, 26-24, 25-17, 25-19.

The Ateneo-La Salle Finals streak ended in Season 80 as Lady Spikers went on to grab their third-straight crown after beating the FEU Lady Tamaraws in the championship round.

 

February 17, 2019 (1st round of UAAP Season 81)

It was a different look for La Salle come Season 81 as the team did not have the likes of Dy and Fajardo leading the squad.

But that didn’t seem to matter as the Lady Spikers continued to pounce on their rivals for a four-set win on opening day, 25-14, 25-17, 16-25, 25-19.

 

April 14, 2019 (2nd round of UAAP Season 81)

Ateneo only had two losses in Season 81—both of which came against La Salle.

In the second round, the Lady Spikers simply dominated the red-hot Blue Eagles with a clean straight-sets victory, 25-17, 25-13, 25-23.

Ateneo would get the last laugh though, as the then Lady Eagles would go on to win the title after outlasting the UST Golden Tigresses in a three-game Finals series.

 

March 7, 2020 (1st round of UAAP Season 82)

Ateneo and La Salle only met once in Season 82 as the league was forced to halt its tournament due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But in their lone meeting, the new-look Lady Spikers still managed to overcome the Blue Eagles with a four-set win, 25-17, 17-25, 25-17, 25-15.

Tin Tiamzon and Jolina Dela Cruz combined for 30 points to defeat Kat Tolentino and the debuting Faith Nisperos.

 

May 5, 2022 (1st round of UAAP Season 84)

With restrictions being eased, UAAP women’s volleyball was finally able to return for Season 84.

And just like the past seven games, La Salle continued to show its dominance over the Ateneo, winning in four sets, 22-25, 25-23, 25-18, 25-20.

In the match, Baby Jyne Soreño came off the bench and ignited the team's momentum, contributing the most points with 17, including 13 attacks, three blocks, and one ace.

This performance helped the Lady Spikers recover from losing the first set and secure a successful start to Season 84.

 

June 7, 2022 (2nd round of UAAP Season 84)

La Salle’s encounter with Ateneo in the second round of Season 84 was a much closer affair.

The two teams went back and forth in each set, but in the end, the Lady Spikers came out on top after then-super rookie Leiah Malaluan and Soreno scored 17 points apiece to escape with a five-set victory, 19-25, 25-18, 20-25, 25-22, 15-12.

 

June 16, 2022 (UAAP Season 84 Stepladder)

La Salle and Ateneo had one final encounter in Season 84, as the Lady Spikers played spoiler to the Blue Eagles’ fairy tale playoff run.

DLSU emerged on top with a straight-sets win, 25-19, 25-20, 25-23, to reach the UAAP Finals once more.

 

March 5, 2023 (1st round of UAAP Season 85)

Come Season 85, it was Angel Canino’s turn to make her mark in the rivalry as she finished with 23 points to lead La Salle to a clean sweep of Ateneo, 25-16, 25-20, 25-13.

This marked the Lady Spikers’ 11th straight victory over the Blue Eagles.

 

April 23, 2023 (2nd round of UAAP Season 85)

In their second-round encounter in Season 85, La Salle was able to clinch the top seed alongside its twice-to-beat bonus after beating Ateneo in another straight-sets affair, 25-22, 25-19, 25-18.

Shevana Laput began to make her presence felt in the league as she finished with her career-high 16 points off 15 attacks and one ace.

 

March 2, 2024 (1st round of UAAP Season 86)

And of course, the most recent match between La Salle and Ateneo.

The Lady Spikers made quick work of their longtime rivals, 25-12, 25-22, 25-19, as they rose to a 3-1 record powered by two-time reigning best middle blocker Thea Gagate’s 15 points on nine attacks, five blocks, and one ace.

But while La Salle has continued its mastery over Ateneo, coach Ramil De Jesus also made sure to give his praises to the young Blue Eagles squad.

[ALSO READ: Ramil De Jesus gives high praises to young Ateneo squad: 'Very promising 'yung team nila']

Can Ateneo finally end the streak in the second round of Season 86? We’ll find out soon enough.