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Ateneo, NU clash today

Games Today
(The Arena, San Juan City)
8 a.m. – UST vs UE (Men’s)
10 a.m. – Ateneo vs NU (Men’s)
2 p.m. – UST vs UE (Women’s)
4 p.m. – Ateneo vs NU (Women’s)

National University seeks to sustain its hot start while Ateneo tries to bounce back from a shocking loss when they clash today in the UAAP women’s volleyball at The Arena in San Juan City.

Match is at 4 p.m. after opening-day losers University of Santo Tomas and University of the East battle at 2 p.m.

Momentum is on the side of NU after it edged out Adamson, 25-15, 25-23, 16-25, 25-13, and first-year coach Babes Castillo is confident they can carry the same energy against the dangerous Ateneo side.

Castillo, however, wants his stalwarts to be consistent by doubling their efforts on their physical conditioning – something that they lacked the last time.

More than that, NU is aware of Ateneo’s mission that is to bounce back from a 19-25, 25-21, 18-25, 25-20, 15-9 loss to the Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws last Sunday.

“I’m sure magpapakita sila (Ateneo) ng mga bagay na hindi pa namin nakikita. But I’m also optimistic that my players will answer to that challenge,” said Castillo.

Six-foot-5 spiker Jaja Santiago will spearhead the Lady Bulldogs after scoring 16 points against the Lady Falcons.

Also expected to deliver goods for NU are versatile setter Jasmine Nabor, Risa Sato, Audrey Paran and Aiko Urdas.

Still reeling from the loss of key players due to graduation, Ateneo is expected to strive harder with skipper Maddie Madayag leading the charge along with Jho Maraguinot, Kat Tolentino, Julianne Samonte and Deanna Wong.

Madayag hopes the team’s cohesion will improve this time.