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In Focus: The Biggest Plot Twists Of UAAP Season 81 Women’s Volleyball

In Focus: The Biggest Plot Twists Of UAAP Season 81 Women’s Volleyball

 

 

By Maan de Vera

UAAP Season 81 is about to wrap up, and it’s about to come down in history as one of the most exciting seasons. Each of the team has definitely stepped up. Jam-packed with rookies who are playing like they are veterans and graduating players who are all very hungry to end their UAAP career with a championship, this season has definitely kept everyone at the edge of their seats. Every game was do-or-die. One off game can cost a team the entire season.

Here, let’s take a look back at the biggest plot twists of Season 81!

1. UE

 
 
 
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Right from the opening weekend, UE made it clear that we are going to witness a fiercer set of Lady Warriors. Although they lost their first game, they were able to extend the match against the standout UP team (who bagged the championship in two off-season leagues) to 5 sets which was not an easy feat. A few months after, Kath Arado was awarded Best Libero while Lai Bendong was hailed as the Best Setter.

2. ADU

 
 
 
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This team had a rocky start this season with a 0-3 record. Whatever you feel about Coach Padda’s coaching strategy, it’s undeniable that her departure as the Lady Falcons’ head coach came as a big surprise. Coach Onyok soon took over and called the shots that eventually led to the first win for the team. The players then dedicated this win to the former coach as a sign of gratitude.

3. NU

 
 
 
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Young NU squad pulls off five-ser stunner over UP. Photo @tamayotristan #inquirersports #inquirerdotnet #nuladybulldogs

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While no one can deny what the NU veterans can bring to the table, what’s truly fascinating about this team lies in the bravery of their rookies. Princess Robles even managed to snatch the Best Server award in her first year in the UAAP. They may have ended the season in the 6th seed, but the young Lady Bulldogs have definitely displayed their grit and prowess that shows that they will be a force to reckoned with in the coming seasons.

4. UP

 
 
 
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All eyes were on UP when the season began since they've managed to bag 2 off-season championships. This was solidified when they were able to defeat DLSU twice in the elimination round. However, the Lady Maroons who once became famous for having super rookies received a dose of their own medicine when they bowed down to the young NU team twice. Although they finished in the 5th seed this year, they are expected to put the fight in #UPFight once again next season.

5. FEU

 
 
 
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We've all wondered how the graduation of Bernadette Pons would affect the overall performace of the Lady Tamarraws who “Shaq-ed the world” last season with their finals appearance. Although Pons was greatly missed, her shoes were filled by the teamwork of the power rookies and steady veterans. With everyone pitching in, FEU was able to convincingly defeat ADMU (who had a twice-to-beat advantage) during the 1st game of the playoffs. However, the tides have changed come game 2 and the team officially ended the season in 4th seed.

6. DLSU

 
 
 
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This season was off to a commanding start in a true DLSU fashion. However, things started to get rocky for the ladies in green after their back-to-back loss from UP and UST. This may have showed that the Lady Spikers are vulnerable, but, ultimately, this proved that they can also bounce back. Unfortunately, Season 81 marked the end of an 11-year finals appearance for the team with their 3rd seed finish.

7. UST

 
 
 
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#KamiNaman! With Sisi Rondina as the season's MVP and Eya Laure as the Rookie of the Year, it only goes to show that UST is out to bring their glory days back. Things didn't come easy for the team due to the injury of Milena Alessandrini early in the season. However, this team was able to defeat the defending champs twice in the playoffs and was poised to make a finals appearance after a long time. Their prowess was once again proven when they swept the Lady Eagles in the first game of the finals.

8. ADMU

 
 
 
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Arguably, these girls from Katipunan were in control of this season. Losing only against their rivals in green, Ateneo finished the elimination round with a strong 1st seed standing. This dominance was greatly challenged when they lost both their first playoffs game against FEU and first finals match with UST. This allowed the resilience of these players to take the center stage and to give them a strong fighting chance in reclaiming the championship.

We are now down to the final showdown between UST and ADMU. Expect both teams to go all out as the final plot twist unveil before our eyes at the MOA Arena this Saturday!

ALSO READ: #TheStrongSide: These UAAP 81 Volleyball Stars Get Real On Embracing Their Truest Selves

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