By Ardyn Gonzales
The defending champions Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles are off to a good start after sweeping the University of the Philippines Lady Fighting Maroons, 25-13, 25-17, 25-23, in the UAAP Season 82 women’s volleyball tournament, Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Ateneo showed no signs of opening game jitters, dominating UP right from the first whistle as they took advantage of the unforced errors of the Lady Maroons.
After surrendering the first set to the Lady Eagles, UP stayed within striking distance in the second frame, tying the match at 14-all. However, Ateneo recovered immediately and responded with a 7-0 run behind the consistent jump serves of rookie Faith Nisperos.
With a 2-0 disadvantage, the Lady Maroons attempted to extend the match down the stretch as they threatened to force a deuce, 23-24. But after calling a timeout, an unfortunate service error from Rose Cailing ended the match in favor of the defending champions.
Senior Kat Tolentino led Ateneo with 15 points in just three sets, while multi-awarded rookie Nisperos had 10 points in her much-awaited debut in the collegiate ranks.
The one-two punch of UP Tots Carlos and Isa Molde connived for 20 points, not enough to carry the Lady Maroons past their neighbors in Katipunan.
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