Season 75 of the UAAP Women's Volleyball tournament started late last year and it's amazing how many followers this competition has. I don't know if the growth in number of fans led to increased television coverage or if it was the other way around but thankfully, all the matches are now being televised. This means that you get some bad matches and very one-sided beatdowns, but you also get to see some spectacular battles.
Such as the gem of a five-setter between La Salle and Ateneo last Saturday to practically close out the first round. The atmosphere was very electric and there was a lot riding on this match. Last year's finalists. The defending champion versus the (previously) only undefeated team this season. The team with the best attacker versus the team with the best blockers. All of this set against the long-standing rivalry between the two schools.
It initially looked like Ateneo, which was on top of the standings leading up to this match, would remain undefeated after the first round after they took the first two sets. However, La Salle drew on their championship experience and turned things around and they took the next two sets to tie things up.
This took the match to a fifth and deciding set. Ateneo lost their team captain late in the fourth set due to a rolled ankle but La Salle kept their momentum and maintained a lead all throughout. The closed out the set with a score of 15-13, handing Ateneo their first defeat of the season. This means that after the first round, DLSU goes to the top of the table. While both schools have one loss, DLSU have lost fewer sets, giving them more points.
The finalist spots are definitely still up for grabs, with Adamson, NU, UST, and even FEU challenging the current top two. However, I think the finalists this year will be the same as last year's. I am definitely looking forward to more UAAP women's volleyball.