By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
UNIVERSITY Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 81 women’s volleyball action returns to the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan City, headlined at 4 p.m. by the clash between the Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws and Ateneo Lady Eagles where the latter try to stop the impressive winning streak of the latter.
FEU has won back-to-back matches to push its record to 6-3, good for solo third place. It is something it hopes to bank on as they meet anew league-leading Ateneo, which is on an amazing roll, winning eight straight matches.
The first time the two teams met in Season 81 on Feb. 24, the Lady Eagles came from behind to win in a thrilling five-setter, 14-25, 19-25, 25-21, 25-18 and 15-12.
The Lady Tamaraws were solid in the first two sets, dominating the Lady Eagles to push them to the brink of defeat.
But FEU would not be able to complete the task as Ateneo gallantly fought back and showed nerves of steel to pull the rug from under the Lady Tamaraws.
Veterans Heather Guino-o, Jerrili Malabanan and Celine Domingo had steady games for FEU but it was not enough to pull their team to the victory.
Guino-o had 16 points while Malabanan and Domingo each had 13 markers.
Since then, however, FEU has been solid, going 5-1, with its last victory over University of the East in five sets on March 30.
The Lady Tamaraws though are still without top rookie Lycha Ebon when they go up against the Lady Eagles as she is still recovering from a knee injury and is expected to be out at least three weeks.
Ateneo, for its part, has been unstoppable since being dealt a defeat in its first game.
It has not drop a game since and is looking to extend it further.
Kat Tolentino is leading the Lady Eagles’ balanced attack, scoring 15.8 points per game, followed by Maddie Madayag with 12.8 points.
Bea De Leon has been good for 8.6 points with Ponggay Gaston adding 8.4 points and Jules Samonte 7.3 points.
Meanwhile, playing the opening game in women’s play at 2 p.m. are the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons (5-4) and UE Lady Warriors (2-7).
Both are coming off losses in their previous matches and are angling to get back on the winning track.
CHENG IS POW
In separate news, Desiree Cheng of the defending champions De La Salle Lady Spikers was named player of the week (POW).
After averaging 19.5 points in the two victories they had last week against National University and University of Santo Tomas, there was no denying the graduating player of her first POW award this season, given by media covering the league.
In winning the award, Cheng beat FEU’s Ivana Agudo, Jennifer Nierva of NU and Tolentino.