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Back-to-Back Champions: Lady Archers beat Lady Tams, sweep season

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The DLSU Lady Archers breezed through the FEU Lady Tamaraws to successfully defend their UAAP Women’s Table Tennis Championship this Season 78. Not only is it the second successive UAAP Women’s Table Tennis Championship for the Lady Archers, it is also their third title in four seasons.

The Lady Archers earned a thrice-to-beat advantage in the finals after they swept the whole elimination round. They only needed to triumph twice in the finals to retain their crown.

Smooth sailing for the Lady Archers

Nothing epitomized the dominance of the Lady Archers this season more than the first finals tie versus the FEU Lady Tamaraws.

DLSU fielded Jamaica Sy and Ian Lariba and dispatched Josephine Talay and Shamiele Pineda for the first and second singles matches respectively. Both Sy and Lariba made quick work of their respective matches. Sy swept Talay 3-0 with scores of 11-7, 11-9, and 11-3, while Lariba followed the same script and defeated Pineda 11-7, 11-6, and 11-5, so both matches 3-0.

DLSU now had an instant 2-0 lead over FEU.

In the doubles match, Faye Bernaldez and Ina Co suited up for DLSU to take on FEU’s Jasmine Jaro and Lyndel Sellado. The Lady Archers took the first set 11-9 in a close fight. However, for the Lady Archers, the match was about to get tricky as the Lady Tamaraws won the second set 6-11.

The third set was crucial, with both sets of players hoping to get a foothold over the other. The Lady Tamaraws squeaked past the Lady Archers, 8-11, and had the chance to get one match over DLSU provided they secured the fourth set. But the Lady Archers showed why they finished the elimination round unbeaten via an 11-9 close call to seize the fourth set.

With the match and tie in the balance, the Lady Archers dismissed the Lady Tamaraws ruthlessly to seize the fifth set 11-7 and the match itself 3-2 which enabled them into having one foot forward for the gold.

Dael secures the title for DLSU

With the championship within reach, the Lady Archers needed no more encouragement to defeat FEU in the second finals tie.

The players in the first two singles matches of the previous tie returned for the same events, albeit with different arrangements in the lineup.

Lariba set the tone with a 3-0 win against Josephine Talay. It was an easy win for Lariba as Talay scored no more than five points in each set. The scores were 11-5, 11-4, and 11-5.

A five-set thriller was next in the second singles match between DLSU’s Sy and FEU’s Pineda. Sy easily won the first set 11-3, only for Pineda to stun her in the second 10-12. Sy recovered in the third set and took it 11-6. Undeterred, Pineda upset Sy in the fourth and fifth sets 7-11 each to give FEU a lifeline.

Co and Bernaldez were chosen once again from the Lady Archers, but Lady Tamaraws’ Jasmine Jaro and Fatima Soya were their opponents this time around for the doubles match. Unfazed, the Lady Archers won the first two sets 11-8 and 11-7. The Lady Tamaraws gave it their all in the third set to no avail as the Lady Archers eventually won 13-11 to sweep the match 3-0.

Emy Dael now had the opportunity to clinch the championship for DLSU against FEU’s Rose Fadol. It was going according to plan for Dael when she aced the first set 11-7. Fadol then bounced back to win the second set 6-11. The pattern continued in the third and fourth sets with Dael winning the former 11-9 while Fadol got the latter 7-11.

In what was the last set of Season 78, Dael displayed maturity to conclude the set, match, and tie and seal the championship. She outlasted Fadol in a nervy fifth set 11-9. The score for the final match of the season was 3-2 in favor of Dael.

Aside from the championship, the Lady Archers secured some individual glory. Lariba capped off her last playing year for DLSU with the Season 78 MVP award, but it is the fact that she has never lost a singles match in her UAAP career which will live long in the memory. On the other hand, Dael was awarded this season’s Rookie of the Year honor, which was hers almost the moment she secured the championship for the Taft-based squad.

The DLSU Lady Archers ruled UAAP Women’s Table Tennis for the second straight season running and no doubt they will want to prolong that championship streak for as long as they can.

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Lorenzo's a frustrated author who knows a thing or two about Football and Basketball. Went all green from Ortigas to Taft. Supports Liverpool FC, FC Bayern Munich and the Alaska Aces

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