The UST Female Tennisters settle for silver as they fall short against the NU Bulldogs, 3-2, in Game 3 of the UAAP Season 86 women's tennis finals at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex on Sunday, April 7. (Photo by Patrice Jerica A. Beltran/ The Varsitarian)

THE UST Female Tennisters snagged silver after falling short against the NU Lady Bulldogs, 3-2, in Game 3 of the UAAP Season 86 women’s tennis tournament finals at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Court on Sunday, April 7.

NU, securing its third consecutive championship, has now matched UST with seven titles in women’s tennis. The Female Tennisters last appeared in the Finals six years ago in Season 80, when they claimed the championship.

Season 86 Rookie of the Year Kaye Emana drew first blood for UST after toppling NU’s Angela Cabaral, 6-4, 6-2.

Alex Santos gave UST a 2-0 lead after a commanding 6-3, 6-2 triumph over JM Carcueva.

However, UST’s duo of Miles Vitaliano and Debbie Gom-os absorbed a 6-4, 6-2 loss against Lady Bulldogs Alyssa Bornia and Alliah Ragunto, who were later hailed as co-Finals MVPs.

NU’s tandem of Danna Abad and Rovie Baulete forced a decider after mauling Female Tennisters Minette Bentillo and Nicole de la Rita, 6-0, 6-4.

In the rubber match, Justine Maneja succumbed to NU’s top player Elsie Abarquez, 6-3, 6-0.

“Happy pa rin ako sa results. Overall performance sa season is better than last year,” UST head coach Dennis Sta. Cruz told the Varsitarian. “Hopefully may two or three rookies na medyo ka-level ni Alex Santos na papasok sa atin next year. I’m sure mafi-fill in ‘yong space na maiiwan ni Miles Vitaliano and Alex Santos.”

UST finished with bronze last season. It will miss the services of Vitaliano and Santos in Season 87.