Former champion De La Salle University guns for its sixth win as it battles Far Eastern University (FEU) when the second round of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 78 women’s volleyball tournament unfolds today at The Arena in San Juan City.
The Lady Spikers will collide with the Lady Tamaraws at 4 p.m. while a rejuvenated University of Santo Tomas (UST) side takes on winless University of the East (UE) in the opening game at 2 p.m.
La Salle currently occupies the second spot with a 5-2 card behind defending champion Ateneo de Manila University (6-1).
After winning against arch¬rivals Lady Eagles last week, the Lady Spikers found themselves cramming in front of the Tigresses and suffered a 25-21, 25-22, 25-21 stunning straight-set loss.
Open hitter Ara Galang was in her usual element, scoring 15 points and 10 digs but failed to get enough support from other La Salle players.
La Salle was marred by 29 un¬forced errors and had poor reception, making just 35 of 62 attempts.
Besides Galang, fellow veterans Mika Reyes and Kim Fajardo are expected to bounce back after their so-so showing against UST while sophomore Mary Joy Baron and Kim Dy must bring the same intensity they showed when they beat Ateneo.
For its part, FEU is fresh from nailing a 25-22, 25-21, 25-21 win against the tall National University side to improve its card to 4-3.
Toni Rose Basas, the league’s third best scorer, remains the main weapon of the Lady Tamaraws but open spiker Bernadeth Pons and middle hitter Remy Palma are slowly regaining their old forms.
On the other hand, Cherry Ann Rondina and EJ Laure towed UST to 3-4 at the end of the first round of elimination.
Rondina, the league’s top scorer with 129 points (104 spikes, 10 blocks and 15 aces) and Laure, ranked fifth with 106 points (94 spikes, five blocks and seven aces), will be leading the Tigresses as they aim to duplicate their 25-18, 25-8, 25-23 demolition of the Lady Warriors.
In the men’s division, University of the Philippines tackles La Salle at 8 a.m. followed by the Ateneo-FEU game at 10 a.m.
EMIL C. NOGUERA