Season 77 1st runners-up University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigresses opened the year’s campaign with all fangs bared, taking four out of five matches against the Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles, Saturday afternoon at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.
Singles 1- Precian Rivera (UST) vs. Jodel Fernandez (ADMU)
UST’s Rivera opened up an early assault, taking the first set 6-0. Her Katipunan counterpart had no answer for the UST player’s steady offensive, as Rivera would go on to take another 6-0 win in set no.2.
Singles 2- Khrizelle Sampaton (ADMU) vs. Erica Manduriao (UST)
Ateneo’s lone match victory came from Khrizelle Sampaton. Sampaton bagged a hard fought 6-2 victory in the first set over UST’s lone rookie fielded for the day, Manduriao. The Atenean kept momentum heading into the second set, and with well-preserved composure took home a lopsided 6-1 win for the Katipunan-based side.
Doubles 1- Macy Gonzales and Genevieve Caorte (UST) vs. Jana Exconde and Alexis Mclean (ADMU)
The España-based tandem opened doubles action with another dominant showing. The first set saw Gonzales and Caorte take control early on, forcing their ADMU counterparts into awkward positions on the lawn and creating hole after hole on the opposite side of the net. Gonzales and Caorte went on to take the first set, 6-0, and would likewise dominate in the second set to grab another 6-0.
Doubles 2- Shymae Gitalan and Ingrid Gonzales (UST) vs. Jana Hernandez and Shannin Olivarez (ADMU)
UST’s second doubles brigade found a way to wear down the Ateneo players, holding on to a steady pace that saw them reach a 6-2 victory in the opening set. The weathered Ateneo tandem struggled to find their footing in the second set, ceding control of the flow to the Tigresses. Gitalan’s and Gonzales’ strategic pacing paved the way for a 6-1 victory in set no.2
Singles 3- Kendies Malinis (UST) vs. Rocio Climent (ADMU)
Ateneo’s rookie player struggled in the morning’s final matchup, with the smaller but quicker Malinis taking control of the pace early on. Malinis managed to take three straight points in the first set before her opponent managed to break out of her offensive slump. The first set, however, would eventually be won by the Malinis. Though Climent would manage to wear down Malinis, it was the speedy Tigress who would manage to capitalize on the other’s errors, taking home the second set 6-1.