UST clashes with skidding Ateneo

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF UAAP Eya Laure is expected to lead UST’s assault against last year’s semis tormentor Ateneo in their UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball battle.

University of Santo Tomas aims for back-to-back wins to solidify its hold of the solo fourth spot in a clash with slumping Ateneo de Manila University in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 85 women’s volleyball tournament today at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.

Fresh from a bounce back victory, the Tigresses try to start a winning run in their 3 p.m. encounter against the Blue Eagles who are struggling in form and down with a three-game skid.

Meanwhile, winless University of the East tries its luck against Far Eastern University in their 11 a.m. battle.

UST sports a 3-2 win-loss record behind unbeaten De La Salle University (5-0) and 4-1 slate holders Adamson University and defending champion National University.

The Tigresses are marching into the match extra-motivated to exact revenge over the same team that booted them out in last year’s stepladder semifinals.

But despite its advantage in morale compared to its embattled counterpart, UST head coach Kungfu Reyes doesn’t want his players to be too confident as Ateneo still packs a punch with veterans like Faith Nisperos and Vanie Gandler leading the way.

Reyes wants his players to focus on their execution and accomplish their goal of a good finish in their last two assignments in the first round.

“What we want to improve right now is the mastery of the system we have,” he said.

“We just have to learn and not repeat the mistakes that we made in our previous games,” Reyes added.

“Our aim is to execute properly. Our goal is to reach 85 to 90 percent accuracy in our movement.”

UST beat University of the Philippines, 25-17, 25-23, 25-20, last Saturday in a show of force where seasoned players Eya Laure, Imee Hernandez and Milena Alessandrini, who made her return after missing the Tigresses’ straight sets loss to the Lady Falcons due to a sprained ankle, all scored in double figures.

The Blue Eagles, on the other hand, are reeling from an 18-25, 23-25, 19-25, drubbing at the hands of Adamson.

Ateneo sits at sixth to seventh beside UP with a dismal 1-4 card.

In the other pairing, the Lady Tamaraws hold a 2-3 slate while the Lady Warriors have yet to taste victory after five tries.

FEU is coming off a 16-25, 18-25, 21-25, loss to La Salle while UE bowed down to NU, 23-25, 9-25, 12-25, last Sunday.

In the men’s division, the Tamaraws and Tigers target their fifth win against separate foes.

FEU faces UE at 9 a.m. while UST takes on Ateneo at 5 p.m.

The Tamaraws and Tigers have identical 4-1 cards behind three-peat-seeking Bulldogs (5-0) while the Red Warriors and Blue Eagles share 2-3 records.

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