Nothing much—it seemed—had changed since the last time the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament was played.
Far Eastern U, deserted by key stars due to graduation, still looks every inch a Final Four contender. University of the East, hoping to shed a past littered with defeats, seems headed for another long season.
The Lady Tamaraws immediately pricked the Lady Warriors’ newfound optimism, hammering out a 25-9, 25-20, 25-17 victory on Tuesday at Mall of Asia Arena.
“[M]y instruction was to start and finish the game strong because this is the first game and this will serve as our gauge,” FEU head coach George Pascua said.
Powered by returnees itching for their place in the spotlight, the Lady Tamaraws obliged.
FEU scored six straight points to open the season and then came up with a whirlwind finish in the third set to ice the victory.
Jeanette Villareal led FEU with 11 points while Ivana Agudo added 10, but it was skipper and setter Gel Cayuna who got the Lady Tamaraws going with nine points and 18 excellent sets.
“I’m doubling my efforts [to fill] whatever were lacking,” Cayuna, a senior, said in Filipino.
Senior Mean Mendrez had 13 points to lead UE, which was weighed down by its 20 errors.
FEU actually completed a double for the day after dominating UE in men’s play, 25-10, 25-22, 25-23.
Action shifts to a higher gear on Wednesday when defending champion kicks off its campaign against dangerous University of the Philippines at 3:30 p.m. at Mall of Asia Arena.
University of Santo Tomas, which finished second to the Lady Eagles, take on National U at 10:30 a.m.
Men’s action featuring the same pairings kicks off before each women’s match.
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