Far Eastern University stunned defending women's champion University of Santo Tomas, 18-21, 21-19, 18-16, to post its second straight victory in the UAAP Season 86 beach volleyball tournament at the Sands SM By The Bay Friday.
The Lady Tamaraws, who missed the Final Four last season with a 3-4 record, displayed tremendous composure in the thrilling 62-minute match to end the Tiger Sands' remarkable streak of 38 consecutive victories.
The last time UST lost was in Game 2 of the Season 79 Finals, when Sisi Rondina and Jem Gutierrez bowed to FEU's Bernadeth Pons and Kyla Atienza, 21-17, 17-21, 13-15, on Oct. 9, 2016.
Starring Melody Pons, Bernadeth's younger sister, and Gerzel Petallo, FEU opened the season with a 21-19, 21-18 conquest of Ateneo's Jana Cane and Roma Mae Doromal.
UST is eyeing a sixth consecutive gold in the women's division without former MVP Blove Barbon, who already graduated.
The Tiger Sands, with Gen Eslapor having Sofiah Pagara as her new partner, fell to 1-1. UST began its season with a 21-9, 21-11 victory over University of the Philippines' Euri Eslapor and Irah Jaboneta.
The Tiger Sands' men's team of Alche Gupiteo and Rancel Varga set in motion their title campaign with a 21-11, 21-19 win over the Blue Eagles' Jian Salarzon and Amil Pacinio.
National University's Honey Grace Cordero and Kly Orillaneda began its quest for the championship by defeating De La Salle's Julieanna Levina and Sophia Sindayen, 21-7, 21-12, and Adamson University's Ishie Lalongisip and Red Bascon, 21-11, 21-8.
The Lady Bulldogs, last season's runners-up, joined the Lady Tamaraws on top at 2-0.
Lalongisip and Bascon, who replaced Athea Aposaga in the first set, topped University of the East's Van Bangayan and Andrea Germono, 13-21, 21-13, 15-4.
Action resumes Saturday at 10 a.m. for the late morning session and 5 p.m. for two late afternoon matches.