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UAAP resumes volleyball play

By Dugout Philippines

With the Christmas break over, teams are back to the regular grind as action in the UAAP Season 77 women's volleyball tournament resumes today.

Making up for lost time, defending champion Ateneo, making up for lost time, will be the busiest as it will play three games in a span of seven days to round up its first round stint.

Far Eastern University, which has played the most number of matches among eight squads with six, has only a game left on its first round schedule.

The Lady Eagles have the least number of games with four as the Katipunan-based squad has to compete in last month's 17th ASEAN University Games in Palembang, Indonesia where they captured a bronze medal.

Ateneo will face Katipunan neighbor University of the Philippines at 2 P.M. tomorrow at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan City before the Lady Eagles will play a back-to-back set next weekend to complete its first round sked.

On Jan. 10, Ateneo takes on winless University of the East at the San Juan venue and will take on De La Salle on the next day (Jan. 11) at the Mall of Asia Arena in a rematch of last season's Finals.

“Every team, pinaghahandaan talaga namin. Pina-plan niya (Coach Tai Bundit) talaga kung ano ang kailangan naming gawin,” said reigning MVP Alyssa Valdez, who currently leads the tournament in spiking and service.

Entering the Christmas break, the Lady Eagles are in second place with a 4-0 card behind the Lady Spikers' league-best 5-0 slate, as both teams are pulling away from the rest of the field.

La Salle seeks to move closer in sweeping the first round against the Lady Warriors in the day’s other game at 4 P.M.

Holding a 3-3 card, the fourth-running Lady Tamaraws hope to go above the .500 mark to close out their first round stint and boost their Final Four aspirations.

FEU, which trails Adamson University (3-2) by half a game, will face old nemesis University of Santo Tomas on Jan. 10.

Both tied in fifth place at 2-3, the Lady Maroons and National University hope to end their respective first round campaign strong and fortify their semis aspirations.

After playing Ateneo, UP goes up against Adamson on Wednesday next week when action shifts to the Mall of Asia Arena.

On the same day, the Lady Bulldogs battle to the Tigresses before wrapping up their first round assignments against the Lady Falcons on Jan. 11.

UST has only a victory to show in five games despite having rookie EJ Laure in the roster, just a notch higher of UE, which remained without a win under new coach Francis Vicente.

Second round action will begin on Jan. 14 before the league will pause for another break in deference for the Papal Visit on Jan. 15-19.  There will be no matches scheduled on Jan. 17 and 18.