National University (NU) overpowered University of the Philippines (UP), 25-23, 25-23, 25-17, to stay on top at the end of the first round of eliminations on Sunday in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.
National mainstay Jaja Santiago led the Lady Bulldogs with 17 points on 16 attacks and one block while middle hitter Risa Sato contributed 10 markers. Setter Jasmine Nabor and Roselyn Doria chipped in six points each.
“Despite our errors, we just enjoyed the game. We learned how to move on immediately after committing an error. Coach (Babes Castillo) was actually not satisfied with how we played today but I think we improved a lot on defense and reception,” said Santiago, who had a season-low, 13-point output in their four-set loss to Far Eastern University last week.
NU is leading solo with a 6-1 mark while UP fell to 2-5.
“It’s a big boost for us. Second round is a new round and this win will serve as our stepping stone toward the second round,” added the 6-foot-5 Santiago.
Skipper Diana Carlos paced the Lady Maroons with 15 points.
In the men’s division, NU hurdled past UP, 25-22, 23-25, 25-19, 25-23, to force a three-way tie on top at the close of the first round of eliminations.
Bryan Bagunas topscored for NU with 19 points while James Natividad (17), Fauzi Ismail (14), Francis Saura (12) and Kim Malabunga (11) also finished in double figures.
The Bulldogs joined reigning champion Ateneo de Manila University and Far Eastern University at the No. 1 position. They all have 6-1 win-loss records.
In the other game, Adamson University defeated University of the East, 25-16, 25-18, 25-12, to earn its second win.
The Soaring Falcons and the Fighting Maroons finished the first round with identical 2-5 marks while the Red Warriors remained winless in seven games.