Here are key highlights from the first round of the UAAP Season 81 Women’s Volleyball tournament

By Nicole Ganglani | Lead Photo by Tristan Tamayo

TThe first round of the University of Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) women’s volleyball tournament has been wild to say the least. Three of the top four teams have lost the same number of games while the Lady Eagles have stunned everyone with their impressive performance in the season so far. We’ve seen veterans like Denise Cheng and Bea de Leon take over games as well as a few teams who have stepped up in the tournament.

As the second round of the tournament approaches, here are key moments from the first round of the season:

La Salle’s coach Ramil de Jesus calls out his veterans

After their first loss against the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons, Coach de Jesus was not happy with the performance of his veterans. The 11-time UAAP champion stressed how the rookies were the ones carrying the team and admitted that their struggles have been concerning. This coming second round, expect to see more of Desiree Cheng and Michelle Cobb.

 Bea de Leon’s sturdy leadership

Despite a slow start to the tournament, de Leon’s leadership is one of the reasons why the Lady Eagles are at the top of their game. Her intensity on the court just proves how hungry she is to bring the championship back to Katipunan. Ever since they lost their first game versus the Spikers, the Lady Eagles have swept all their games and are proving they have become a championship caliber team. However, the question that still remains is if the Lady Eagles can take down La Salle. We’ll only find out in the second round.

University of Sto. Thomas (UST) Golden Tigresses impressive start

After sweeping the defending champions in their first encounter and almost beating Ateneo, UST has proved that they can contend for the title as well. Currently, the Tigresses have won six out of their nine games—putting them in second place tied with La Salle and UP.

UP proving their worth

After their strong performance during the Phillippine Super Liga (PSL) tournament, it’s not surprising that UP is part of the final four. The Maroons were the first team to sweep the Spikers in four years. Their current record of 5-3 proves that they can challenge anyone and become a potential final four threat.

DLSU’s four-peat title defense in jeopardy

One of the biggest storylines in the first round was the two straight losses the Spikers suffered versus final four teams. The Lady Spikers have not lost two straight in the first round in the past few years. With Ateneo on top of the standings, it will be interesting to see if La Salle can pick up momentum and climb back to the top.