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Women’s Beach Volley Day One: AdU, FEU, ADMU shine in opener

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The UAAP Women’s Beach Volleyball tournament opener presented frantic action and results right from the first match. Adamson and FEU got things rolling by thwarting last season’s finalists while Ateneo’s returning duo dominated the Lady Maroons. UST and DLSU salvaged the day with wins later in the afternoon while UE and UP are yet to win a match.

In the day’s first match, AdU’s Mylene Paat and Gemma Galanza defanged the defending champs, UST’s Cherry Rondina and Rica Rivera, 21-16, 17-21, 15-13. The Lady Falcons strategically targeted Rica Rivera who struggled to convert points early in the match, leading to an easy first set win for AdU. UST then turned up their offense in the following frame, resorting to more 1-2 attacks that Adamson had trouble reading. UST’s reception problems creeped back in the deciding third set with neither Rondina nor Rivera passing a decent first ball. AdU led 13-9 and seemed to have the match in the bag but the Bisaya UST pair settled down after a timeout and rallied all the way back, within a point of Adamson, 14-13. Rondina, however, stalled her team’s chances, serving long in the final point.

FEU’s Bernadette Pons and Kyla Atienza then kept the upset ball rolling, upending last season’s runner-up, DLSU’s Kim Fajardo and Cyd Demecillo, 21-15, 17-21, 16-14. La Salle started off picking Atienza to attack for FEU. The fourth-year skipper however made the Lady Spikers pay especially off her powerful sharp serves, powering FEU to the early advantage. Kim and Cyd’s solid attacking got them through the second set and ahead early in the deciding third set. Pons and Atienza, however, countered, slowly nibbling at the lead and forcing a deuce. Atienza then got a clutch ace followed by a DLSU error to seal their opening day win.

An upset nearly befell NU’s young pair of Roma Doromal and Jasmine Nabor but the Lady Bulldogs held on and blasted UE’s Angelica Dacaymat and Judith Abil late, earning a 20-22, 21-19, 15-5 victory. Just a sophomore and a rookie respectively, Doromal and Nabor showed signs of nerves as the pair let go of easy points in the first set allowing UE’s athletic pair to capitalize and take the first frame. The Ladies from Sampaloc, however, responded strongly in the second set, coming back from a three-point deficit to force a deciding frame through smart placement hits. UE then coughed up multiple errors in the third set, letting NU coast to a 1-0 record.

After a string of long matches, Ateneo’s veteran pair of Bea Tan and Alyssa Valdez made quick work of UP’s Arielle Estranero and Vina Alinas 21-9, 21-19. Having played in multiple beach volleyball circuits during her time away from Loyola, Bea Tan moved with ease in the sand court: with road-runner quickness, she probed the back line for every attack. Valdez, on the other hand, still attacked powerfully despite her admitted lack of practice in the sand. Valdez and Tan last paired up in Season 75 when they finished in second place behind UST.

The day’s last two matches saw last season’s finalists avenge their early losses.

Taking advantage of their quickness, UST’s Rivera and Rondina unleashed their full might on the plodding NU pair of Doromal and Nabor, 21-14, 21-14. Playing in cooler afternoon temperature favored the ladies from España as fatigue set in on the Lady Bulldogs. NU’s pair of lefties had struggled to attack forcefully which Rivera and Rondina had in bunches.

Regaining their form beneath the setting sun, La Salle’s Demcillo and Fajardo rose up and outshined UP’s Estranero and Alinas, 21-15, 21-16. The Lady Spikers played more exuberantly than the Lady Maroons who showed apparent signs of fatigue. La Salle also successfully executed their target serving which UP failed to accommodate. DLSU’s two-hit attacking also featured well in their set clinching runs.

Here are the standings after Day One:

Adamson (Paat/Galanza) 1-0
Ateneo (Tan/Valdez) 1-0
FEU (Pons/Atienza) 1-0
DLSU (Fajardo/Demecillo) 1-1
NU (Doromal/Nabor) 1-1
UST (Rondina/Rivera) 1-1
UE (Abil/Dacaymat) 0-1
UP (Estranero/Alinas) 0-2

For schedule of the remaining games, click here.

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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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