National University (NU) guns for a share of the lead when it faces Ateneo de Manila University in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament today at The Arena in San Juan City.
The Lady Bulldogs battle the Lady Eagles at 4 p.m. after the tussle between University of the Philippines and University of Santo Tomas at 2 p.m.
NU is running second with 6-2 behind defending champion De La Salle University with 7-2.
The Lady Bulldogs suffered their second loss, a 25-27, 25-27, 16-25 defeat to the Lady Spikers last week.
The Lady Bulldogs are entering the match in high spirits despite their previous setback.
National team member Jaja Santiago is keen to reclaim her winning form following her so-so performance against La Salle.
Santiago, the tournament’s top scorer, was limited to just 13 points, a far cry from her 20-plus output in their previous games.
Besides Santiago, the Lady Bulldogs will also bank on outside hitters Aiko Urdas and Audrey Paran, middle blocker Risa Sato and opposite spiker Roselyn Doria.
Playmaker Jasmine Nabor and libero Gayle Valdez must also play with synergy for the NU spikers.
On the other hand, the Lady Eagles, fresh from sweeping Far Eastern University, 25-19, 25-21, 25-17, are eyeing their fifth win in eight games.
Wing spiker Jhoana Maraguinot proved to be a leader for Ateneo as she scored 15 points in that game while last season’s Rookie of the Year Kat Tolentino chipped in 11 markers.
Middle blockers Maddie Madayag and Bea De Leon will be up for a big challenge as they were tasked to defend the 6-foot-5 Santiago.
“Second round is a fresh start for us. We need to show how we can really play and we need to focus as much as we can,” said Madayag.
The Lady Eagles lost to the Lady Bulldogs, 19-25, 19-25, 25-20, 25-12, 7-15, in the first round of elimination.
Games today (The Arena)
2pm UP vs UST
4pm ADMU vs NU