UNIVERSITY of the Philippines scored a hard-earned 25-12, 22-25, 23-25, 25-19, 15-12 win over a gritty University of the East side for a winning start in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament on Saturday at the Arena in San Juan.
Coming off two pre-season championships, the Lady Maroons overcame a poor start, falling behind 1-2 in sets before beating the Lady Red Warriors.
Isa Molde and Tots Carlos took control as the Lady Maroons took a 13-9 fifth set lead before Jessma Ramos delivered the match-clinching hit to complete UP’s come-from-behind victory.
Molde had 23 points on 19 kills, two blocks and two service aces, while also making 10 excellent receptions to lift the Lady Maroons. UP skipper Carlos had 17 hits.
Dorog had 12 points, 18 digs and seven excellent receptions, while Ramos added nine points. Graduating setter Ayel Estrañero made 44 excellent sets.
“We played as a team and that’s why we were able to get the last two sets. Nothing comes easy,” UP coach Godfrey Okumu said.
“The sets we won, we won with ease, but the ones we lost, we struggled. I hope we can put this behind us and move forward to our next game on Wednesday.”
Judith Abil was the lone UE player who scored in double figures, finishing with 20 points while also making 21 excellent receptions. Kath Arado had 32 digs and 18 receptions.
The Lady Red Warriors try to bounce back against the rookie-laden National University on Saturday next week.