A rematch of last year’s semi-final ended with the victors repeating history, as the University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigresses grabbed the crucial 2-0 lead in the UAAP Season 78 Women’s Lawn Tennis standings, at the expense of the De La Salle University Lady Archers, 3-2, Sunday afternoon at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.
Singles 1 – Kendies Malinis (UST) vs. Karamina Atangan (DLSU)
The smaller but quick-footed Malinis took control of the flow early on, nailing three straight points and leaving her opponent flat-footed. But the player from La Salle found a way to take advantage of a visibly-worn Malinis, claiming three straight points to even the matchup. Malinis, however, recovered her pacing enough to nail another three points and walk away with the first set, 6-3. She had no trouble keeping her composure come the second set, eventually closing out the matchup following a 6-1 victory.
Singles 2 – Precian Rivera (UST) vs. Khyshana Hitosis (DLSU)
One of the more heated matchups of the day started with the rookie from La Salle outdoing her UST counterpart 7-6 in the first set, recovering from a slow start and eventually holding out to complete the late rally. However, she struggled to readjust her pace in time to slow down the veteran from UST, conceding the second set, 1-6. UST’s Rivera returned for a third set with preserved composure, surviving a late rally from the visibly worn Hitosis to escape with the 6-2 victory for the set and the match that gave UST top spot in the standings.
Doubles 1 – Nikki Arandia and Anne Castillo (DLSU) vs. Macy Gonzales and Genevieve Caorte (UST)
The Thomasian duo’s strategic pacing paved the way for the 6-3 victory in the first set over the quick-footed tandem from Taft. The Lasallians, however, turned the tide in the second set, wearing out their opponents early on to take the 6-1 win for set number two. The final set saw the Archers continue their pace that won them the second set. The Green players would eventually walk away with the 6-2 victory for set number three.
Doubles 2 – Ingrid Gonzales and Shy Mae Gitalan (UST) vs. Jedd Aquino and Jenni Dizon (DLSU)
The second doubles outing between UST and La Salle opened to a dominant display from the Tigresses’ second tandem, who kept their composure and found a way to turn the flow of the game against their opponents. Errors on the La Sallians’ part of the lawn resulted in a 6-3 victory in set number one. Consistent pacing powered the Tigresses to another 6-3 victory, enough to seal the much-needed match.
Singles 3 – Marinel Rudas (DLSU) vs. Erika Manduriao (UST)
The hard-hitting Rudas established dominance early on, wearing down the Thomasian, Manduriao, to grab the first set in a flash, 6-0. A stronger showing from the revitalized Manduriao was not enough to put a stop to the determined and composed Rudas, who finished the second set on top, 6-2.
Last year’s 1st runners-up are 2-0 in the standings, having also beaten Ateneo on Saturday. La Salle exit opening weekend at 1-1.
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