The DLSU Tennisters capped off UAAP Season 79 in contrasting fashion. The Green Tennisters finished the season with a 5-5 win-loss record, settling for third in the league, a massive improvement from last year’s winless campaign. Meanwhile, the Lady Tennisters found themselves at the bottom of the team standings with a 1-7 record. It was a disappointing year for the women, who failed to maintain their third-place ranking from last season.
Green Tennisters clinch third
The Green Tennisters started out the season eager to prove themselves. Their campaign officially opened against the ADMU Blue Eagles, losing closely, 3-2. They managed to turn things around against the UP Fighting Maroons, however, defeating them, 4-1.
La Salle remained competitive for the rest of the first round despite losing to the UST Growling Tigers, 3-2, and to the UE Red Warriors, 4-1. They eventually ended their first round on a positive note against the defending champions, the NU Bulldogs. In a tie that had to be rescheduled due to rainfall, the Green Tennisters emerged victorious, 4-1.
Opening their second round against their archrivals, the ADMU Blue Eagles, the team from Taft came back from a 2-0 deficit to steal the tie, 3-2. The Green Tennisters would then lose to UST, 4-1, before again defeating NU, 3-2. In their last set of games, the Green-and-White would lose to UE, 4-1, before ending their season on a positive note with a 3-2 victory over UP.
The Green Tennisters thus ended their season with a 5-5 record, finishing third out of six teams, a huge step forward from last year’s campaign. Although they failed to qualify for a finals berth as only the top two teams in the standings advance to the finals, the Lasallians showed signs of improvement, and will be ready to continue rising through the ranks next year.
A big change in this year’s team was the consistency in the lineup sent out each day by coach Roland Kraut. Led by Betto Orendain, who improved to a 7-3 personal record after an up-and-down freshman year, La Salle was a team full of players that were consistently able to rely on one another to get the job done. Along with this, the ability of team captain Kyle Parpan to excel in both singles and doubles competition was an x-factor in the team’s success. His versatility allowed Kraut to execute different game plans, by using variations of different lineups that depended on the opponent.
Meanwhile, the league-leading UE Red Warriors blitzed through the tournament, ending the season with a 9-1 record, only falling to the NU Bulldogs, 3-2, after a uniform mishap gave NU a free point. They will take on the UST Growling Tigers, who hold a 7-3 standing, in the finals.
Lady Tennisters finish last
The Lady Tennisters were unfortunately unable to sustain momentum from last season’s third-place finish. Starting their campaign against the UST Golden Tigresses, the Lasallians were bested, 3-2. They were also defeated by the UP Lady Maroons by the same scoreline.
La Salle would also stumble against the defending champions NU Lady Bulldogs, 4-1, before finishing their first round against the ADMU Lady Eagles. Again, the Lady Tennisters stayed competitive throughout the tie, but fell just short in the end, 3-2, to finish their first round without a single victory.
The team from Taft would open its second round with another loss, this time to UST, 3-2. Afterwards, however, they would claim their lone victory of the season against UP, besting them, 3-2. The Lasallians would then bow to NU and ADMU to close the season, with both ties ending at 4-1.
“Kinakapos kami kaya hindi nananalo yung team,” sophomore Chang Atangan mentioned. Alluding to next season, she shared, “May mga bagong player, may mga graduates, pero feel ko mas maganda lineup next season.”
La Salle would end the elimination rounds with only a single, finishing the season with 1-7 win-loss standing, last in the league. Although the campaign was disappointing, one bright spot was team captain Rachelle De Guzman, who won every one of her matches to end the season undefeated.
Meanwhile, the NU Lady Bulldogs continued to dominate the tournament with an unblemished record as they vye for their fourth consecutive title. They are set to take on the UST Golden Tigresses, who hold a 6-2 win-loss standing.
General Championship (GC) race
From their respective finishes, the Green Tennisters and Lady Tennisters clinched 10 and six GC points, correspondingly for DLSU.