By: Denver del Rosario
MANILA – The University of the Philippines bowed down on Sunday to Far Eastern University in straight sets, 14-25, 24-26, 20-25, in the opening of the UAAP Season 77 women’s volleyball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Arena.
The Lady Maroons struggled in their offense as skipper Nicole Tiamzon finished as the lone double-digit scorer with 12 points. Chester Ong chipped in seven points, while Kathy Bersola and Vina Alinas both provided five points.
Sophomore Bernadeth Pons spearheaded the Lady Tamaraws with 15 points, while Remy Palma and Genevieve Casugod contributed 10 and eight points, respectively.
Coach Jerry Yee admitted the team had problems with its lineup, with graduating player Angeli Araneta not making it in today’s game.
“Si Neta (Araneta), merong test na ita-take, and last Friday, si Nicole naaksidente,” Yee said. (Araneta is preparing for a test, while Nicole was involved in an accident last Friday.)
The Diliman-based team started with a slow pace as the Tamaraws dominated early in the first set, 2-10, eventually reaching the second technical timeout with a 10-point deficit.
Together with Marian Buitre, Tiamzon rallied four straight points for UP, 14-22. But three consecutive errors from the Lady Maroon’s team captain cost them the set, 14-25.
The second set was rather a close one, with UP holding the lead to the first technical timeout, 8-7.
The Lady Maroons stretched their lead to two, 21-19, via a Kathy Bersola kill but FEU snatched four unanswered points to take on the driver’s seat, 21-23.
A block by Chester Ong tied the score at 24 but a powerful spike from Pons and an error on the Maroons side gave the set to FEU, 24-26.
UP struggled in the third set as FEU reached the second technical timeout with a lead, 11-16.
Ong tried to rescue the Maroons by scoring an ace, 20-24, but the Tamaraws eventually won the game via a Pons kill.
UP will next face National University on Saturday at the Araneta Coliseum.
Meanwhile, earlier today, the UP Men’s Team defeated the DLSU Men’s Team in a thrilling five set victory, 22-25, 25-21, 25-14, 22-25, 15-12.
Wendel Miguel fired 18 pts, while Evan Raymundo and Frederick Abunda added 15 apiece for the Fighting Maroons.
The Fighting Maroons will next face the Adamson Soaring Falcons on Sunday.