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UAAP Beach Volleyball Day One: THE UST NEON TIGERS

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WOMEN’S

At first glance, Thomasian rookies, Cherry Rondina and Jane Rovera might look like another pushover rookie volleyball team. But watching them move through the sand-court like dolphins at sea, one would get why UST would field these girls over their indoor volleyball vets.

Cherry Rondina jumps off the sand as if she was jumping off a trampoline for sharp spikes that puts craters on the sand her spikes land on. Jane Rovera has an amazing serve and is a crafty attacker. Both glide through the sand, give each other good sets, and can easily track down serves.

They won both their debut games, sweeping both a veteran La Salle tandem and the Lady Warriors in dominating fashion. If this shows the same level of play against another veteran duo, it’s not too far off for these rooks to experience success early in their UAAP career.

MEN’S

If there’s someone everyone must come out and watch live, it’s Mark Alfafara. Alfafara set the UAAP record for most points in a single UAAP season for indoor volleyball and he is as awe-inspiring to watch in the outdoor game. Mark scores in a plethora of ways; getting his thunderous points off blocks, kills and service aces.

Season 76’s best scorer, along with his partner, springy Kris Roy Guzman, lifted UST to a sweep of their two debut games. The Guzman-Alfafara combo dismantled the UP Maroons late in the sets, 21-17, 21-17 while cooling off a fired up Ateneo duo, 14-21, 21-17, 15-12.

UST’s tandem has been together for several seasons and is due for a shot at the title after settling for first runner-up last season. If UST finds the same level of chemistry they had last year, the tigers should be shoo-in for a Finals spot this season.

Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.

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