Published on March 12th, 2018 | by Timothy Nolasco0
DLSU Lady Tennisters claim bronze with victory over UP
The De La Salle University Lady Tennisters captured bronze medal after overcoming a rough-and-tumble affair with the UP Fighting Lady Maroons, 3-2, yesterday at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Courts.
With the campaign ending on a high note, the Lady Tennisters gave graduating players Rachelle De Guzman and Nikki Arandia a fitting farewell to their UAAP careers.
Sophomore Kylla Orillosa was assigned to play the first singles match. The first set went awry as the State-U tennister claimed it, 6-2. In the second canto, Orillosa attempted to mount a comeback, forcing an extension of the set. However, her opponent was able to nudge herself ahead to seal it, 6-4.
With the team down 0-1, co-captain Jed Aquino unleashed the Animo spirit. She downed her Maroon counterpart, 6-2 and 6-3. Aquino equalized the match at 1-apiece on a hard-earned manner.
Rookie Annika Silangcruz teamed up with senior Mary Alcantara in an attempt to push their team ahead. Despite brave counter-attacks from the Taft-based duo, the pair from Diliman held on to win, 6-2, 6-0.
Senior tennister Nikki Arandia partnered with Jenni Dizon to duke it out in the second doubles match. In her farewell game, Arandia led the Taft-based duo in smashing all hopes of their UP counterparts with twin scores of 6-1. As much tears as the win brought to Arandia’s eyes, it also brought La Salle one win closer to the bronze as they knotted the count at 2-all.
Arandia admitted feeling pressure during the game, but sadness engulfed her after as it she put it, “sobrang nakakalungkot. Iniisip ko lahat ng sacrifice ko since I was 11 years old. But I have to move on. Tennis was my everything. Kaya di ko rin mapigilan yung tears ko kasi naging buhay ko ang tennis. Forever ako magiging thankful sa tennis.” She added that there were no regrets after representing the Green and White for five years as she was very thankful to be part of the team and they have become her second family.
It was the skipper’s time to shine once again. Rachelle De Guzman was tasked to pull the team through at the last singles. With the match possibly being her last, the fresh graduate did not disappoint. She was able to crush UP’s hopes of salvaging a win by thrashing every rally in the first canto, 6-0. With the victory well within her grasp, De Guzman showed why she was the boss. She gave her opponent a glimmer of hope by giving a single point in the second set. She then felt the need to shift to a higher gear. With the set possibly being her last and with her parents watching from the sidelines, RDG showed why she is never to be taken lightly as she showed complete dominance, winning the second set, 6-1.
Once again, pulling the team through and rising above adversity, De Guzman was pressured the last time against their rivals. This time, she exuded confidence for herself and co-senior Arandia. De Guzman said, “It might be my last game. Nikki, last na niya for sure. So every hit of the ball, I made sure na mahihirapan yung opponent. Masarap sa feeling na I was able to win the game.”
“That win was for my parents, for the seniors and the rest of the team, for the coaches, for the university, and most especially for God,” she added.
She had no regrets in her years as a Lasallian student-athlete. More than the athletic achievements, De Guzman shared that graduating with Lasallian education is an achievement that she will forever be proud of.
De Guzman felt ecstatic after seeing the team fall into a slump early, before finding the perfect lineup and matchups en route to the podium.
Despite their departures, Arandia and De Guzman expressed confidence that the team will continue to grow and succeed in the coming seasons. They said, “the team can do it. The experiences they gained playing in the UAAP and other tournaments will help the team mature.”