(Photo By Richard Esguerra/Sports Gateway PH)
University of Santo Tomas opens its quest for a second straight women’s championship with two opening day matches in the UAAP Season 78 beach volleyball tournament today at the Sands SM By The Bay inside the Mall of Asia complex.
Bannered by reigning MVP Cherry Rondina and Rica Rivera, the Tigresses play Adamson University in the first game of the morning session at 8 a.m. and will return in the afternoon to face NationalUniversity at 12 noon.
Impressive on both ends of the sand court, UST defeated De La Salle in three games last season to annex its third championship overall. The Tigresses joined the Lady Falcons as the league’s winningest women’s beach volleyball program.
Cyd Demecillo and Kim Fajardo will return to help the Lady Spikers grab the elusive beach volley crown.
UST and La Salle are also expecting to face stiff challenge from Ateneo’s Alyssa Valdez and Bea Tan.
A beach volleyball crown is what Valdez is only missing in her decorated collegiate career, while Tan’s vast experience in the sand court will greatly help the Lady Eagles.
In other women’s matches, the Lady Spikers take on Far Eastern University at 8:30 a.m., the Lady Bulldogs battle the University of the East at 9 a.m., and the Lady Eagles tackle University of the Philippines at 10 a.m.
La Salle and the Lady Maroons collide in the other afternoon session match at 12:30 p.m.
NU, meanwhile, begins its quest for a four-peat in the men’s division against Adamson at 10 a.m. and Ateneo at 1 p.m.
With the graduation of Josephenry Tipay and Edwin Tolentino, the Bulldogs will bank on Madzlan Gampong and Bryan Bagunas to continue the winning tradition.
Other morning men’s matches scheduled are UST-FEU at 10:30 a.m., Ateneo-UP at 11 a.m. and UE-La Salle at 11:30 a.m. The Growling Tigers and the Red Warriors return in the final match of the day ar 1:30 p.m.