The Adamson Lady Falcons ended the first round of the UAAP Season 85 Women’s Volleyball Tournament on a high note Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena after sweeping the UP Fighting Maroons, 25-18, 25-17, 25-23.

The win serves as a much-needed morale-boost for the San Marcelino crew who suffered a terrible loss in the hands of the still-undefeated La Salle squad just three days earlier.

According to Adamson assistant coach Rald Ricafort, one of the immediate things the team discussed and worked on in training on Monday and Tuesday was their defense at the net.

“Lagi binabanggit ang blocking kasi ‘yung ibang mga games namin dun nagkakatalo. Pag wala kaming block, kahit maayos floor defense namin, nadadale kami,” Ricafort said.

“Masyado nang malalakas ang players ng kalaban para hindi makuha ng ganun kadali. So kailangan i-address lagi,” he added.

For context, in Adamson’s games against Ateneo and La Salle, the team only scored a total of two block points, one for each game or two for the entire seven sets played.

The Lady Falcons harvested the fruits of their labor against the Fighting Maroons as they dominated at the net with nine kill blocks compared to UP’s three.

Middle blocker Lorene Toring led in blocking with four while Kate Santiago, who top scored with 16 points, added three blocks for the blue and white side.

“Wing spikers ang kinailangan mag-adjust. Dun sa mga pinanood namin sa viewing, meron at meron naman silang nagawa sa mga plano pero meron pa rin nakalusot. Kaya may room pa rin for improvement,” Ricafort shared.

With the win, the Lady Falcons ended the first round with five wins and two losses, ranking second in the standings with 16 points.

For the coaching staff, however, a lot of work still needs to be done as they prepare for an even tighter second round with the rest of the field on a mad dash to at least secure a spot at the playoffs.

“‘Yung team hindi na bata. ‘Yung chemistry nandun na. Siguro ‘yung big games ma-handle namin ng maayos and kailangan i-work on. ‘Yung composure nila,” the assistant coach told Akari Sports.

And though the tendency to panic against this season’s frontrunners continue to be an issue for the Lady Falcons, Ricafort chooses to see the silver lining by telling the Jerry Yee-led squad that they’ve come a long way from how they used to perform versus other UAAP squads.

“Ang binanggit ko sa kanila, before kami (coaching staff) pumunta sa Adamson, marami silang ganung games. Ateneo, La Salle, UST,” Ricafort said, talking about the late-game collapses Adamson experienced last year both in Season 84 and the off-season.

“Kumbaga ngayon, at least sa La Salle lang lumitaw. Kesa mag-focus ako sa negative, ‘yun ang binanggit ko sa kanila na nag-iimprove naman. Sadyang mataas lang talaga expectations ngayon,” he added.

Adamson will open the second round of the tournament with a match versus UST on Saturday, March 25, 11AM, at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig.