As early as now, the reigning UAAP women’s tennis champions, National University Lady Bulldogs, want everyone in their deep line-up to experience UAAP competition.
And despite losing their first match of the season, the Lady Bulldogs rolled on to its 17th straight tie won after finishing off the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons, 4-1, Saturday at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center.
Fifth-year Goldie Nagret shared that the lineup changes did not come as a surprise. The four-time champion paired with Junnalyn Polito in the second doubles match. In the first doubles match, coach Karl Santamaria even fielded a rookie-sophomore tandem in Annie Tumanda and Khrizzan Dumlao.
“Yung tandem namin ni Apol, hindi namin ine-expect yung kami ipa-partner, [pero] maganda naman yung partnership namin,” Nagret started. “Maayos yung galaw namin sa court. Matagal na rin kaming mag-partner.”
That strong partnership as they clinched the tie for the defending champions in the second doubles match over CJ Valdez and Monika Bañez.
This came after stalwarts Clarice Patrimonio and Jzash Canja took care of their respective foes on the first and singles matches. The Fed Cup campaigner whitewashed rookie Danielle Carranza, 6-0, 6-0. Then, the latter dominated Alexis Borela, 6-1, 6-1.
The Lady Maroons actually took the lead as skipper Nicole Eugenio and sophomore Dana Uy disposed off Tumanda and Dumlao in two 6-1 sets.
The loss, however, did not bother Nagret and instead welcome such learning experience. “Kailangan talaga nilang maglaro para sa exposure,” she said. “Para pag gagamitin sila sa UAAP, wala na silang kaba para sa sarili nila kasi alam na nila kung anong gagawin nila.”
Reigning MVP Tin Patrimonio then shook off the challenge of Monica Cortez, 6-1, 6-2, to eventually complete the rout and extend the winning streak dating from Season 77.
The Lady Bulldogs (3-0) hopes to complete a first-round sweep as they face the winless De La Salle University Lady Archers (0-2), Sunday, February 26.
Earlier that day, the Lady Maroons (1-2) will look to stay at the third spot as they battle with the Ateneo De Manila University Lady Eagles (0-2).