TITLEHOLDER University of Sto. Tomas and last year’s runner-up Far Eastern University scored big opening-day wins in the UAAP Season 80 women's beach volleyball tournament on Thursday at MOA Sands by the Bay.
UST’s Sisi Rondina and new partner Caitlyn Viray recovered from a bad start to defeat La Salle’s Tin Tiamzon and May Luna, 21-23, 21-19, 15-11.
Lady Tamaraws Bernadeth Pons and Kyla Atienza beat Bea de Leon and Jules Samonte of Ateneo, 21-8, 21-14.
Rondina and Pons are coming off a fifth place finish in the Southeast Asian Beach Volleyball Championships in Singapore.
"Hindi ko na control emotion ko kanina, gigil ako kanina," said Rondina, who win the title last year with Jem Gutierrez.
"Hindi kami mag-iiwan ng salita kung itutuluy-tuloy na panalo pero tatrabahuhin namin itong tournament," she added.
Bernadette Flora and Chrislyn Uy of Adamson downed Audrey Paran and Roma Doromal of National University, 21-18, 21-19.
University of the Philippines also started the tournament with a big win as Diana Carlos and Ayel Estrañero beat University of the East’s Judith Abil and Angelica Dacaymat, 21-19, 21-13.
Meanwhile, defending men’s champion KR Guzman and Anthony Arbasto of UST came from a set down to escape UP pair of Nicolo Consuelo and Wendel Miguel, 12-21, 21-15, 17-15.
UST, which struggled early in the contest, looked to seal the win after reaching match point, 14-10, but UP fired five unanswered points capped by Miguel's drop shot to take the lead, 15-14.
The Tigers woke up just in time as Guzman saved the match point, 15-15, followed by an Arbasto service ace and a smart play to complete a come-from-behind win.