The champions are back.
The National University Lady Bulldogs were the biggest winners of the UAAP Season 78 women’s lawn tennis opening weekend, taking all five matches with the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons without conceding a single set, Sunday morning at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.
Singles 1 – Czah Canja (NU) vs. Joanna Pena (UP)
The NU player had no trouble putting her opponent away in the first set, taking an easy 6-0 victory for the opening round. Despite a spirited comeback from Pena, the Lady Bulldog needed only to maintain her composure to hold on for a 6-2 win for the second set.
Singles 2 – Christine Patrimonio (NU) vs. Nicole Eugenio (UP)
The heavy-handed Patrimonio gave Eugenio some early trouble with her array of hard-hitting strokes. Despite establishing the early lead, Patrimonio found herself struggling after a series of errors, giving Eugenio the means to force the 5-5 deadlock. The Lady Bulldog managed to regain her composure and notch two straight games to gain the lead. A weathered Eugenio struggled to keep pace in the second, and it was Patrimonio who emerged victorious, after a 6-2 win in the second set.
Doubles 1 – Hanna Espinosa and Goldie Nagret (NU) vs. Monvic Santos and Denise Jimenez (UP)
Dominant from start to finish, the NU tandem easily bagged the 6-1 win for the first set. Their UP counterparts proved unable to find a way to put a stop to the Lady Bulldogs’ offensive, as it was the duo from the champion school who emerged victorious, following a 6-0 win in set number two.
Doubles 2 – Junnelyn Polito and Zaza Paulino (NU) vs. Dawn Uy and Monika Banez (UP)
The composed NU pair kept a steady pace that forced their UP counterparts into a series of errors that paved the way for a quick 6-0 win in the first set. The Lady Maroons, however, returned with a stronger showing in set number two, finally finding a way to create holes in the Bulldogs’ side of the net. Despite a late rally from the Maroons, the flow of the game was still controlled by the NU tennisters, who escaped with a 6-4 win in the set.
Singles 3- Clarice Patrimonio (NU) vs. Monica Cortez (UP)
Last year’s Most Valuable Player Patrimonio established her pace with the same series of heavy strokes and quick strides as her sister. After ceding a second set to her opponent, she would go on to nail five straight games to claim the first set, 6-1. UP’s Cortez continued trying to find an answer from the Bulldog’s heavy barrage, but at the end of the second set, it was Patrimonio who walked away with the victory, 6-1 again for set no.2
The Lady Bulldogs end the weekend at 1-0, while the Lady Maroons are 0-2, having also lost to the De La Salle Lady Archers on Saturday.