Despite the ups-and-downs, last year’s UAAP women’s tennis runners-up University of Santo Tomas find themselves to just a win away from the twice-to-beat advantage in the Finals.
The Female Tennisters from España romped to their fifth straight win with an eventual rout of the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons, 4-1, Sunday afternoon at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center.
The undefeated Tomasinas easily pocketed the first two singles match en route to a huge 2-0 lead in the tie.
Erika Manduriao and rookie Monica Cruz made short work of their counterparts to take the advantage for the Tigresses.
Manduriao was dominant in her 6-0, 6-1 conquest of Iana Tan, and Cruz proved also her mettle after taking down Agnes Flores in the same score line.
Dana Uy and Willow Day continued to be UP’s bright spot this season, taking another win for the Fighting Maroons to put their squad on board. The ladies from Diliman had to go through a tussle in the first set of the first doubles match at 6-3 over Precian Rivera and Ingrid Gonzales, before wrapping up the match at 6-1 in the second.
Maroons captain Denise Jimenez and partner Danielle Carranza pocketed the first set of the second doubles match over UST skipper Genevieve Caorte and Tin Gulosino at 7-5. Eventually, the España duo swept the rest of the sets at similar 6-3 score lines to seal the match and the win.
Co-captain Kendies Malinis completed the rout for the league-leaders after also putting up a 6-1, 6-0 victory in the third singles match over Monica Cortez.
“Masaya talaga kasi isa ‘yan sa goal namin,” Malinis commented on their seventh straight Finals appearance. “Pero kailangang isipin namin ‘pag naglalaro, let the game lang [past]. ‘Wag niyong i-pressure ‘yung sarili niyo na sabi nga ng ibang school kami na ‘yung pinakamalakas.
“Yung mga saya namin, 50 percent pa lang,” the Tomasina admitted. “Kasi wala pa kami dun sa totoong Finals talaga. May isa pa kaming [tie] against Ateneo,” she added.
That preview of this year’s Finals between UST (5-0) and the Ateneo de Manila University (3-2) will happen on Sunday at 8 am. Later that day at noon, the Lady Maroons (1-4) will face the De La Salle University (1-4) for the third place finish.