• UP, Ateneo triumph in UAAP volley opener

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    Ateneo de Manila University’s Alyssa Valdez (left) and Gizelle Tan prepare to receive the ball during the elimination round of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 78 women’s volleyball tournament on Sunday at The Arena in San Juan City. photo by CZAR DANCEL

    Ateneo de Manila University’s Alyssa Valdez (left) and Gizelle Tan prepare to receive the ball during the elimination round of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 78 women’s volleyball tournament on Sunday at The Arena in San Juan City. photo by CZAR DANCEL

    University of the Philippines (UP) outlasted University of the East (UE) 25-20, 25-13, 25-21 for its first win at the start of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 78 women’s volleyball tournament on Sunday at The Arena in San Juan City.

    Although there was no any player who scored in double figures, the Lady Fighting Maroons relied on a well-balanced game throughout the three sets behind the performance of Justine Dorog, Diana Mae Carlos, Nicole Anne Tiamzon and returning middle hitter Kathy Bersola.

    Dorog, Tiamzon and Carlos finished with nine points each, while Bersola had seven points to lead the Lady Fighting Maroons, who didn’t enter the Final Four last season after finishing with a 5-9 win-loss record.

    Bersola returned to action after suffering a knee injury last year.

    UP registered more attacks (38-27), excellent sets (28-16) and blocks (4-2) than UE.

    The Lady Fighting Maroons though suffered 22 errors while the Lady Red Warriors had 24.

    Shaya Adorador led UE with only seven points.

    In the second game, defending champion Ateneo de Manila University clobbered National University, 25-21, 25-19, 25-14, for its first win.

    Earlier in the men’s category, Ateneo De Manila University’s reigning two-time Most Valuable Player Marck Jesus Espejo delivered 15 kills of his 17 points to power the Blue Eagles to a 25-21, 25-18, 29-27 win over the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers.

    Rex Intal and Wilson Marasigan added 11 points each while Joshua Villanueva had nine points to hand Ateneo an opening game win.

    Last year’s Finals MVP Ish Polvorosa guided Ateneo’s smooth offense providing 31 excellent sets.

    In the other men’s game, Far Eastern University (FEU) swept University of the Philippines (UP), 25-23, 26-24, 25-23, to win its first game.

    Jeric Gacutan fired 10 kills for 12 points, while Greg Dolor just contributed eight points.

    UST and UP fell to 0-1 win-loss record.

    JOSEF RAMOS

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