Last year’s second runners-up, the De La Salle Lady Archers, kicked off their Season 78 campaign as the day’s biggest winners, bagging all five matches against the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons, Saturday afternoon at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.
Singles 1 – Marinel Rudas (DLSU) vs. Nicole Eugenio (UP)
La Salle’s hard-hitting Rudas built an early offensive with which UP’s Eugenio struggled to keep pace. Despite a series of errors that almost gave Eugenio a chance to add to her side of the scoreboard, Rudas’ consistent attacking would pull through, giving her both sets, 6-2.
Singles 2 – Karamina Atangan (DLSU) vs. CJ Valdez (UP)
What would be one of the hottest matchups of the day opened with the lightning-quick Valdez from UP outpacing her opponent from La Salle, en route to a 6-2 set win. Though she managed to bag the first few points in the second set, La Salle’s Atangan soon found a way to keep pace, taking advantage of her visibly-weathered counterpart to take a 6-4 victory in the second set. Momentum stayed on the Green side of the lawn, as Atangan’s revitalized offensive gave her another 6-4 set and the match.
Doubles 1 – Jenni Dizon and Jedd Aquino (DLSU) vs. Dawn Uy and Moira Velcaria (UP)
The Diliman-based tandem opened the first doubles encounter between UP and La Salle with an aggressive display, positioning themselves close to the net. The players from Taft, however, found a way to turn the tides against the duo of Uy and Velcaria, finding their footing by the edge of the lawn, forcing the Maroons to a series of errors that cost them the set, 4-6. Uy and Velcaria managed to readjust in the second set, keeping pace this time around and forcing the 5-5 deadlock. After another heated exchange, it was the Maroons who emerged with the set victory, 7-5. The weathered UP duo, however, struggled to maintain the momentum. With UP unable to keep up with the steady-paced La Salle, it was Dizon and Aquino who emerged with the decisive set, 6-2.
Doubles 2 – Nikki Arandia and Anne Castillo (DLSU) vs. Monika Bañez and Denise Jimenez (UP)
The second doubles matchup between UP and La Salle saw the Archers build a steady offensive and find a way to easily establish their pace against the Maroons. Despite an admirable effort by the UP side to take control of the flow, the Lasallians found a way to force the Maroons into a couple of costly errors, taking home the 6-4 set victory. The Archers maintained their pace in the second set, leaving the Maroons with no time to readjust their counterattack. Arandia and Castillo went on to bag set no.2, 6-0.
Singles 3 – Khyshana Hitosis (DLSU) vs. Monica Cortez (UP)
The final encounter of the day saw a heated battle break out between La Salle rookie Hitosis and sophomore Maroon Cortez. It was Cortez who took the first set, 7-5, surviving the La Salle youngster’s steady offensive. A more composed Hitosis returned to the lawn in the second set, establishing a more effective pace that paved the way for her to escape with the 6-3 victory. A battered and fatigued Cortez struggled to find a way to return her rookie opponent’s attacks, and soon found herself unable to cover the length of her side of the lawn. Hitosis went on to escape with the 6-0 set victory and La Salle’s fifth match win of the day.