UE Lady Warriors’ Casiey Dongallo rises against UP defenders during a UAAP Season 86 women’s tournament game. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines–Casiey Dongallo wrapped her rookie year with University of the East (UE) with a 23-25, 25-17, 27-25, 25-22 victory against University of the Philippines (UP) at the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament on Saturday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Dongallo, the promising freshman hitter of the Lady Warriors, poured in 28 points built from 25 attacks, two blocks and ace to help UE break a five-game losing skid and finish with a 3-11 record, its best since 2019.

“Given the rookies that we have playing, I felt that we did pretty good. Could’ve done better, but very proud of the accomplishments so far,” UE interim head coach Obet Vital said as the Lady Warriors avenged a round 1 loss to the Fighting Maroons.

SCHEDULE: UAAP Season 86 volleyball second round

“This is the first time that UE has come in sixth place in a long time so that’s what we wanted. We came here to UE to make history, no matter the wins or losses. Today, the last ball dropped, and that’s what I told them. And we made history po,” he added.

Dongallo also broke the rooking scoring record after reaching 291 points to overtake University of Santo Tomas rookie Angge Poyos’ 268 mark as of posting. The Golden Tigresses will cap off the preliminary round with its matchup against La Salle in the nightcap.

UE Lady Warriors' Casiey Dongallo UAAP

UE Lady Warriors’ Casiey Dongallo. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

“I’m very proud of them. We’re setting the tone for what’s more to come. We’re very very excited, closing out with the win, and then looking forward quickly toward the future. Season 87, and all the preseason leagues as well. So we’re very happy,” Vital said.

Rizza Nogales backed Dongallo with 17 points from 14 attacks, two blocks and an ace, Kayce Balingit added 10 points from seven kills and three blocks and Khy Cepada nine attack points.

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READ: Casiey Dongallo eager to make UE a winner in UAAP volleyball

“May dapat kaming goal na hindi namin nagawa pero andito pa rin kami,” Dongallo said. “Yung last game namin, nanalo naman kami, thankfully, at nabigay po namin yun sa seniors kasi sabi ko nga sa kanila na aalis sila sa UE na iba naman yung history.”

UP, meanwhile, had Irah Jaboneta and Stephanie Bustrillo at the front of its offense, finishing with 15 points apiece while middle blocker Niña Ytang delivered 13 points.

Bustrillo came up with 14 attack points and a block, Jaboneta 13 kills, a block and an ace as well as 10 excellent digs while Ytang added eight attacks, three blocks and a pair of aces.

READ: Casiey Dongallo shuts down transfer rumors: ‘No plans to leave UE’

The Fighting Maroons looked good at the beginning of every set and even took the opening frame but UP couldn’t maintain its performance until the end.

The Lady Warriors accepted the opportunity with open arms to overcome losing the first set and rush to a 12-7 start in the final frame.

Dongallo hammered a kill to give UE a seven-point lead, 17-10, before another hit in the endgame to keep the momentum in the Lady Warriors’ side.

Jaboneta delivered an attack down the line before UE strung up errors to narrow the deficit to just one. But Dongallo remained on course and sneaked a couple of attacks to secure the win for her crew.

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UE will look to continue what it started next season with another batch of additions and Dongallo’s California Academy teammate Jelai Gajero’s return from injury.

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