Lady Maroons in vital tiff

Games Saturday:

(Filoil Flying V Centre)

2 p.m. – Ateneo vs NU (W)

4 p.m. – FEU vs DLSU (W)

SUDDENLY finding itself outside the top four range in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament, University of the Philippines needs to find a way out of its slump right away.

For Lady Maroons coach Godfrey Okumu, there is very little room for mistakes, especially a win or a loss will matter with the extremely competitive field this year.

“We are no longer a team in progress. We’re a team that is strong, a team that is a power to reckon with,” said Okumu.

After toppling defending champion La Salle, UP lost to surging Ateneo in straight sets and squandered a four-point lead late in the match to bow to upstart National University to drop at 3-3.

“The results are not good, and it’s putting our team in a very, very tight situation. Yeah. But, I believe we still have the fight in us,” said the Kenyan head coach.

The Lady Maroons did not know what they hit them after the Lady Bulldogs stormed back from a 10-14 by winning seven of the match's last eight points.

“What happened today, it’s hard to describe. We had the fourth set, we also had the fifth set. But, it just didn’t happen – we just lost it. So, again, we spent a lot of energy trying to fight back every single moment," said Okumu.

“And I hope that come the weekend, we’d be able to adjust and play better. We also had shortcomings with our passing. We tried to work on that, but still, it needs more work,” he added.

UP will wrap up its first round assignments against unpredictable Adamson on Sunday as it tries to enter the second round with a winning record.