LAST year's runner up Ateneo and early favorite University of Santo Tomas will clash in the main game of the opening day of the UAAP Season 79 women's volleyball tournament on February 4 at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The 4 p.m. game against the experienced Tigresses will mark the start of the post-Alyssa Valdez era for the Lady Eagles, who won two championships and reached the finals five times during Valdez's time as the Queen Eagle.
Michele Morente, Jhoanna Maraguinot, Bea de Leon, Jia Morado and returning Maddie Madayag and Kat Tolentino are expected to carry the hopes of the Lady Eagles this season.
UST, on the other hand, will have its veterans EJ Laure, Sisi Rondina, Ria Meneses, Chloe Cortez, Alex Cabaños and come backing team captain Pam Lastimosa to rely on - and the experience of having played in the big commercial leagues during the offseason.
Laure and Rondina suited up for Foton while Meneses, Cortez and Cabaños became vital cogs for Generika in the Philippine Super Liga.
The match up between National University, to be led by Jaja Santiago, and University of the East will kick off the action at 2 p.m.
The much-awaited first face-off of the season between defending champion La Salle and Ateneo, which met in the finals for five straight years, is on March 4 at the MOA Arena.
Meanwhile, in the men's division, back-to-back defending champion Ateneo starts its campaign against UST at 10:00 a.m.
Here's the rest of the schedule: