University of Santo Tomas is one step closer to its title retention bid after slipping past Far Eastern University, 22-20, 17-21, 15-13, to complete a sweep of the eliminations of the UAAP Season 80 women’s beach volleyball tournament Thursday at SM Sands by the Bay.
Reigning MVP Cherry Rondina let partner Caitlyn Viray take over in the end game as scored the Golden Tigresses’ final three points to ensure UST’s 7-0 record and automatic bye to the championship round.
“Of course it’s still not over, we want to get that gold medal,” said Rondina in Fiipino. “This is also a good experience for Cait who’s just starting her beach volleyball career. The competition is very tough and FEU is a really tough opponent.”
The Lady Tamaraws finished the eliminations with a 6-1 record and will hold a twice-to-beat advantage in the second series of the step-ladder semifinals.
UST had a 6-2 lead at the start of the third set before the FEU duo of Bernadeth Pons and Kyla Atienza rallied back to take a 10-9 lead on Viray’s error.
FEU the managed to tie the set at 12-12 just before Viray closed the affair for UST.
La Salle’s Tin Tiamzon and May Luna clinched the last semifinals slot after brushing off Ateneo’s Bea de Leon and Jules Samonte, 21-10, 21-9, to finish the eliminations with a 4-3 card.
The Lady Spikers will face University of the Philippines’ Diana Carlos and Ayel Estrañero in the first series of the step-ladder semifinals.