UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas started its title bid in the 76th UAAP women's volleyball on a bright note as it downed University of the Philippines, 25-15, 22-25, 25-21, 25-22, on Wednesday at The Arena in San Juan.
Sophomore Jem Gutierrez, who was seldom used as a rookie, poured in 20 points, Carmela Tunay added 17 and Pam Lastimosa chipped in 12 for the Tigresses.
"Yung confidence niya (Gutierrez) sa laro sana tuloy-tuloy," said coach Odjie Mamon of UST, which is now without Judy Caballejo, Maika Ortiz, Maru Banaticla and Gi Reyes.
UST bested UP at the service line, coming up with 11 aces against three of the Lady Maroons.
Katherine Bersola came up with 13 points, while Chester Ong added 10 for UP.
UST joined three-time defending champion La Salle and National University in the early lead, while UP is down with Ateneo and Adamson (0-1).