The Lady Bulldogs are still the top dogs.
Defending champions National University closed the first round of women’s tennis action in fearsome fashion, taking all five sets against last year’s finals opponent University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigresses, Saturday afternoon at the Rizal Sports Complex.
Go-to opener Christine Patrimonio of National U made quick work of UST’s Erika Manduriao, 6-2, in the first set of their meeting. Patrimonio, however, had more trouble in the second set, as she would need to split thirteen points with Manduriao to complete the day’s victory with a 7-6 second set win. Meanwhile, the younger of NU’s Patrimonio sisters, reigning MVP Clarice, faced off against UST’s Precian Rivera. The younger Patrimonio had no trouble overpowering her smaller opponent, eventually claiming the second match point in two quick sets, 6-2 and 6-1.
The first doubles match of the afternoon saw another dominant display from the NU netters. Hannah Espinosa and Junnelyn Polito collaborated to make quick work of the typically quick-footed UST duo of Ingrid Gonzales and Shy Mae Gitalan in two sets, 6-1 and 6-3.
It was in the second doubles match that the Tigresses found a way to trouble the Bulldogs. Thomasians Macy Gonzales and Geneveive Caorte were able to bag the first set, 6-4, before ceding the lead to the NU side in the second set, after the defending champions managed to hold out for a 7-6 victory. The tiebreaking set eventually went to the Bulldogs, 6-4.
Jzah Canja put the icing on the cake for NU, bagging two straight sets against UST’s Kendies Malinis, 6-1 and 6-1.
NU sit at the top as the first rounds ends with an unblemished 4-0 slate. Last year’s runners-up exit the first at solo second place, 3-1.
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