Once again, defending champions National University Lady Bulldogs carved out a 4-1 victory over last year’s third-placers De La Salle University, and remained unblemished in the season, Wednesday at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center.
Jzash Canja started the ball rolling for the reigning champs with a 7-5 decision over La Salle’s ace singles player Marinel Rudas in the opening set. Rudas then enforced her will in the succeeding sets to get La Salle on the win column for the day. The Lady Green Netters veteran dominated the second set, 6-1, before pulling off a 6-3 victory in the deciding frame. Despite the lopsided score lines in the final two sets the match was an arduous tussle that lasted for more than two hours.
Such was not the case in the other singles matches as the Patrimonio sisters, Christine and Clarice hardly broke a sweat in their respective pairings. The elder Christine shook off Karmina Atangan in the opening set, 6-2. She then took control of the following set and plucked the match, 6-0.
On her part, the reigning Most Valuable Player Clarice Patrimonio allowed Jed Aquino a solitary service hold in the first set, 6-1. The younger Patrimonio then went to work and blanked the La Sallian, 6-0, in the succeeding frame, to wrest the tie lead for NU.
NU’s Hannah Espinosa and Junnalyn Polito battled hard against Khyshana Hitosis and Jennis Dizon in the first doubles match. The Lady Bulldogs carved out an opening frame victory, 7-5, with the lone break of serve. Espinosa and Polito then cruised past the La Sallians in the second set, 6-2, to finish off the match. The win clinched NU’s fifth of the season and 12th straight since last season’s first-round defeat against University of Santo Tomas.
Zaza Paulino and Goldie Nagret sealed the deal for the defending titlist in the second doubles match. The NU pair won over La Salle’s Nikki Arandia and Anne Castillo, 6-1 6-2.
The Lady Bulldogs will stake their winning run against last year’s Finals opponents University of Santo Tomas on Saturday, while the Lady Green Tennisters will take a break before facing UST on Sunday.