DEFENDING five-time champion University of Santo Tomas foiled National University’s elimination round sweep bid with a 21-19, 21-16 win Saturday in the UAAP Season 86 women’s beach volleyball tournament at the Sands SM By The Bay.
Rookie Sofiah Pagara and senior Gen Eslapor used their smart plays to rattle Honey Grace Cordero and Kly Orillaneda, as the Tiger Sands chalked up their fifth consecutive victory while ending the Lady Bulldogs’ perfect winning run.
Prior to the defeat, NU won all its matches via straight sets.
Far Eastern University later forced a three-way tie in first place at 6-1, as Melody Pons and Gerzel Petallo overwhelmed Adamson University’s Ishie Lalongisip and Red Bascon, 21-8, 21-7.
The Tiger Sands emerged as the top-ranked team by virtue of a superior rally point ratio (1.065) over the Lady Bulldogs (1.055) and the Lady Tamaraws (0.898).
UST’s lone loss of the season came from the hands of FEU, which ended its foes’ 38-match winning streak early in the eliminations.
University of the Philippines bagged its third straight Final Four stint as Euri Eslapor and Irah Jaboneta made short work of De La Salle’s Sophia Sindayen and Gilliana Torres, 21-8, 21-7.
The Fighting Maroons, who reached the podium last season, placed fourth with a 4-3 record and will face the Tiger Sands in the knockout Final Four on Tuesday morning.
The second-ranked Lady Bulldogs and the No. 3 Lady Tamaraws clash in the other Final Four pairing.
The Final Four survivors will play in the one-match Final on Tuesday afternoon, while the losers to drop in the battle for third, also a one-off affair.
Ateneo nipped University of the East, 17-21, 21-11, 15-8, in the other match to wound up in fifth place with a 3-4 record.
The Lady Warriors, the Lady Falcons, and the Lady Spikers ended their season with similar 1-6 slates from sixth to eighth spots.