Ateneo de Manila University and National University (NU) aim to strengthen their hold of the No. 2 spot when they face separate foes today in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.
Ateneo takes on a dangerous University of the East (UE) at 2 p.m. while NU battles Adamson University at 4 p.m.
The Lady Eagles and Lady Bulldogs are sharing the second place with identical 6-3 cards, behind defending champion De La Salle University (8-2).
Ateneo wants to duplicate its 21-25, 25-18, 25-21, 25-14 win over UE in the first round with open hitters Jhoanna Maraguinot and Kat Tolentino raring to lead the Lady Eagles again to battle.
Team captain Maddie Madayag and Bea De Leon will be handling the blocking duties at the middle while opposite spiker Jules Samonte and playmaker Deanna Wong are also expected to shine for the Katipunan-based squad.
But the Lady Warriors are no easy foes as they have proven in their last three games.
After a 0-6 start, UE notched two consecutive wins against Adamson U and University of Santo Tomas.
What makes the Lady Warriors dangerous are wing spikers Shaya Adorador and Mary Anne Mendrez, middle blocker Seth Rodriguez, Judith Abil as well as seasoned libero Kath Arado.
On the other hand, NU also aims to repeat its 25-15, 25-23, 16-25, 25-13 domination of Adamson in the opening day.
National mainstay Jaja Santiago remains a threat to all teams with her height and attacking skills.
But the 6-foot-5 middle blocker needs solid support especially from fellow veteran Aiko Urdas, Roselyn Doria and Risa Sato to tow her squad to another win.
Audrey Paran, Roselyn Doria and playmaker Jasmine Nabor must also bring their A-games for the Lady Bulldogs.
Adamson will be playing without starting open spiker Chiara Permentilla who is still recovering from an ankle sprain.
Nevertheless, skipper Jema Galanza, Myle Paat and Christine Soyud are there to fill in the void left by Permetilla.
The three Lady Falcons are the most consistent players in the league when it comes to scoring.
Galanza posted 22, Paat tallied 18 and Soyud had 11 in their nerve-wracking 19-25, 25-11, 16-25, 25-16, 15-12 win over UE the last time out.