By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
BROKE through the win column on the last playing day of the first round of UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball last Sunday, the University of the East (UE) Lady Warriors go for back-to-back wins, taking on the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Golden Tigresses in the start of second round today at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
Found an opening in their previous match to notch that elusive first victory, the Lady Warriors took advantage of the opportunity and made the Adamson Lady Falcons pay to win in five sets and are now looking to establish some winning momentum in their 2 p.m. encounter against the struggling Tigresses.
UE defeated Adamson, 25-22, 22-25, 14-25, 25-20 and 15-13, bucking being two sets to one down and end what was a trying opening round in the ongoing season of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) on a positive note.
Mean Mendrez led the Lady Warriors in the breakthrough victory with 12 points while veteran player Shaya Adorador came through in the clutch to finish with 11.
Judith Abil and Seth Rodriguez, meanwhile, added nine and eight points, respectively, for UE and give interim coach Rod Roque his first win.
“We felt we had a good chance of winning especially when we saw that Adamson did not start with their usual lineup,” said Adorador, referring to the Lady Falcons’ decision not to start with players like Jema Galanza, Eli Soyud and Chiara Permentilla.
“We took it as a challenge [that maybe they were taking us lightly] and everybody just stepped up their game and we pulled of the win,” she added.
For UE coach Roque, the win was one step for their team which they hope to build on as they try to bring their program back to respectability.
To win two consecutive matches, UE must do it against UST, a team raring to get back on the winning track after losing three straight to finish the first round.
The Tigresses boast of the league’s best scorer in Sisi Rondina (21.6 points per game) but is struggling to get consistent support with some of their key players still out due to injuries.
UST’s latest deficit came at the hands of the Far Eastern University (FEU) Lady Tamaraws last Saturday, bowing in straight sets, 25-16, 25-22 and 25-20.
Playing in the second game today at 4 p.m., meanwhile, are FEU and the Ateneo Lady Eagles.
The Lady Tamaraws (5-2) are fresh from their win over UST while Ateneo (4-3) dropped its last game against the defending champions De La Salle Lady Spikers in four sets.
In other news, La Salle’s Kim Kianna Dy is the latest recipient of the UAAP player of the week honors after leading her team to its win over rival Ateneo.
Opposite spiker Dy finished with 21 points, 11 off spike, seven blocks and three service aces, in the win that saw her team bouncing back from a loss in its previous game.
In winning the award, Dy bested UE’s Adorador and Kath Arado, FEU captain Bernadeth Pons, National University stalwart Jaja Santiago and University of the Philippines’ topscorer Tots Carlos.