RACHEL Velez summoned all her might in the deciding singles match to lift University of the Philippines to its first-ever UAAP Women’s Tennis Finals appearance on Sunday at the Felicisimo Ampon Tennis Center in Malate, Manila.
National University and UP will dispute the title starting on the first team tie of the series on Saturday.
The Fighting Maroons completed a two-tie romp of their last assignments with a 3-2 decision over University of Santo Tomas with Velez earning the Finals ticket with a 7-6, 6-1 win against Debbie Gom-os.
The fourth-year Sports Science major followed up her impressive win from the previous day to set up the stunner of National University with this clincher, sending UP to a 6-2 win-loss record.
UP took both the doubles matches, while UST bagged the first singles ones.
Joshea Malazarte was back on the doubles court, but once more punched in a win, and this time with Jesha Cervantes. The pair took down Miles Vitaliano and Nichole De Rita, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. Anica Cari and JM Prado dominated Abby Singcol and Kryshana Brazal in the other doubles rubber, 6-0, 6-1.
Patricia Lim turned back Renee Esteban to put UST on the board at 5-7, 6-3, 7-5, before Alexei Santos made quick work of Sydney Enriquez, 6-0, 6-1.
The Tennisters take the third-place finish with a 4-4 win-loss record.
On the other hand, the defending champion National University turned back Ateneo de Manila University, 3-2, to go into the Finals with a bounce-back win.
Danna Abad pulled through against Mariam Garsin, 7-5, 4-6, 6-, to secure the Lady Bulldogs’ 7-1 card and the top seed.
Ateneo finished in fourth with a 3-5 record, while De La Salle University completed the season in fifth with a 0-8 record.