Photo by: Jempoy Pimentel
The De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Tennisters dropped the opener of the UAAP Season 81 Women’s Lawn Tennis Finals, 2-3, against the National University (NU) Lady Bulldogs.
It took 12 long hours before a winner emerged in Game 1 at the CSA Bulacan Tennis Courts yesterday, April 7, also the feast day of DLSU’s founder St. John Baptist de La Salle.
With only one court used for the entire day, Akiko De Guzman started the championship round of the women’s division. De Guzman challenged Clarice Patrimonio again in the first singles that went the distance. The Taft-based Tennister yielded in the first set, 5-7, before taking the second set, 6-3, to force a decider. However, Patrimonio emerged victorious after winning the deciding set, 6-4, as NU drew first blood.
In the first doubles match of the game, the usual tandem of Jed Aquino and Arianne Nillasca notched a sweep against their opponents, Giza Antalan and Zam Dumlao, 6-2, 6-3. The win put La Salle on the scoreboard and evened things up against NU, 1-all.
La Salle pushed the tempo in the second singles as Lady Tennister Angel Santiago rode on the Green and White’s momentum. Her opponent, Annie Tumanda, claimed the first set, 7-5. However, Santiago would not be denied as she thwarted Tumanda in the second set, 6-4, before pulling away with a 6-1 victory in the final set. The three-hour match and the victory gave the Taft-based squad a pivotal 2-1 lead over the Jhocson-based squad.
NU would not come down just yet, however, as Mae Bornia and Alliah Ragunton made quick work of Kiezl Diaz and Jenni Dizon in the second singles match. The Lady Bulldogs took the first set, 6-3. Then, they finished the Lady Tennisters duo with a victory in the second set, 6-1, that also forged a deciding third singles match.
In the final match of the day, Aubrey Calma faced her second round tormentor Jzash Canja anew. Canja drew first blood with a 6-4 victory over Calma in the first set. Nevertheless, Calma did not come down without a fight as a 6-2 win brought both squads back to square one. In the deciding set, however, Calma could not keep her momentum as Canja routed her behind a hot 4-0 start.
The loss gave La Salle a two-game losing streak following six consecutive wins in the elimination round. This was also a back-to-back defeat from NU as the Lady Tennisters also ended Round 2 with a loss to the Lady Bulldogs.
Regardless, the DLSU Lady Tennisters look to bounce back in Game 2 against the same squad tomorrow, April 9, 8 AM at the same venue. A victory for La Salle will force a do-or-die Game 3 on Saturday, April 13, 8 AM at the same venue, while a loss will end their campaign at second place.