Two teams with varying starts to their season will square off during the second week of the UAAP Season 79 Women’s Volleyball Tournament. The DLSU Lady Spikers began their title defense with a three-set sweep over the FEU Lady Tamaraws, though jitters and unforced errors were apparent in some of the first-year and returning players. Meanwhile, the UST Golden Tigresses will look to notch their first win against the defending champions after dropping their tournament opener against the ADMU Lady Eagles.
A win for DLSU would place them at the top of the league standings, while a victory for UST would force a tie with DLSU and create an early logjam in the middle of the league standings.
Contrasting first games
Though the Lady Spikers won in three sets, 29-27, 25-22, 25-23, the Lady Tamaraws made sure that DLSU earned every single point. La Salle could not pull away from their rivals as they only managed single digit leads throughout the entire game. Majoy Baron led the Lady Spikers with 15 points off nine kills, while reigning Finals MVP Kim Dy added 11. Bernadeth Pons was the only double-figure scorer for FEU as she finished with 11 points.
La Salle led for most of the first set with FEU eventually tying things up at 23-all off a Dawn Macandili error. Majoy Baron managed to weather the FEU rally and handed the Lady Spikers the opening set off a service ace. The Lady Tamaraws, however, never trailed by double-digits, and managed to tie the game more than once. In the end, errors doomed the Lady Tamaraws, as an FEU miscue handed La Salle its first win in Season 79.
Despite entering Season 79 as one of the favorites, UST suffered a 25-20, 25-21, 25-22 sweep against ADMU in the competition’s second game. Jho Maraguinot led ADMU with 15 points, while Michelle Morente added nine. EJ Laure led all scorers with 17 points on 12 spikes, while Sisi Rondina added 10 points in the loss.
Last year’s matchup
In the first-round meeting of these opposing teams last season, the Lady Spikers found themselves at the mercy of the Golden Tigresses. UST rounded up La Salle in straight sets, 25-21, 25-22, 25-21, to cap off the first round of Season 78. Although the Lasallians managed to lead at some point in every set, UST managed to answer back and snatch the win from the Lady Spikers. The resilient efforts of UST, along with crucial errors from DLSU, paved the way for a victory for the Golden Tigresses.
Coach Ramil De Jesus will be relying on key players Baron and Dy, along with his veteran setter Kim Fajardo, to lead the team on their next assignment. With the season still in its early stages, and with modifications of the Lady Spikers to their line-up due to the loss of a handful of veterans, La Salle will once again have the chance to measure the young team’s competence as they face a solid squad from UST.
La Salle managed to open its season on a bright note as the Lady Spikers displayed their composure in the closing stages of the game. However, the Lasallians will need to continuously improve their cohesion, hustle, and effort to establish a strong start in the early stages of the season.
UST and DLSU will face off this Saturday, February 11, at 4 pm in the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.