LAST season’s runner-up National University secured the first Final Four berth, while Far Eastern University moved on the cusp of making a return trip to the women’s semifinals in the UAAP beach volleyball tournament at the Sands SM By The Bay yesterday.
The Lady Bulldogs took the solo lead with a 5-0 record, as Honey Grace Cordero and Kly Orillaneda logged straight-set romps over Ateneo’s Roma Mae Doromal and Gena Hora, 21-16, 21-11, and University of the East’s Van Bangayan and Krisha Revilla, 21-11, 21-12.
The Lady Tamaraws also remained perfect as Melody Pons and Gerzel Petallo used their sand court experience to the hilt to repulse La Salle’s Sophia Sindayen and Gilliana Torres, 21-11, 21-10.
Extending its undefeated run to four matches, FEU has surpassed last season’s three-win output, looking good in making a return stint to the Final Four which it last accomplished in 2019.
Reigning five-time champion University of Santo Tomas kept within reach of the pacesetters as Sofiah Pagara and Gen Eslapor overpowered Adamson’s Ishie Lalongisip and Red Bascon, 21-4, 21-10.
But Pagara and Eslapor went through the wringer before beating Doromal and Hora, 21-14, 17-21, 16-14, in the afternoon session for the Tiger Sands to improve to 4-1.
University of the Philippines improved to 2-2 as Euri Eslapor and Irah Jaboneta dominated Bangayan and Revilla, 21-12, 21-9.
The Lady Falcons dropped to 1-3, while the Blue Eagles and the Lady Warriors stumbled to 1-4. The Lady Spikers, meanwhile, remained without a win in four matches.
In men’s action, five-peat seeking UST remained untouchable in five matches as reigning MVP Rancel Varga and Alche Gupiteo needed only 30 minutes to beat La Salle’s Andre Espejo and Vince Maglinao, 21-9, 21-8, and Adamson’s Francis Casas and Dan Gutierrez, 21-9, 21-12.
NU also went up to 4-0 as James Buytrago and Alex Iraya waylaid Casas and Gutierrez, 21-14, 21-14.
FEU evened its record to 2-2 after Vincent Nadera and JJ Javelona topped UP’s Christian Pitogo and Gelo Lipata, 21-14, 21-14.