BAGUIO College of Technology fought but came short of winning against two perennial contenders in women’s volleyball as the Baguio-Benguet Educational Athletic League second phase gets going.

The Lady Atoms lost in straight sets to nine time champion Saint Louis University at the latter’s court, 24-26, 18-25, 25-27.

It was a tough win for the Lady Navigators, which lost top gun Collin Rossi to the medical school, hopes to retake the crown after their last championship in 2012.

It was a double whammy for the Lady Atoms as they went up against another powerhouse Thursday, the University of the Cordilleras Lady Jaguars which also hope to win in the new format to avoid delays in game.

The Lady Jaguars waylaid the Lady Atoms in four sets, 25-14, 25-13, 20-25, 25-19, to clinch their second win in as many games.

Therese Bautista unleashed 11 kills while Christian Reyes added eight to lead the Lady Jagaurs offense.

The game, however was interrupted following a misunderstanding when Atoms coach Jun Esperos questioned a service error by Reyes.

UC Sports coordinator Danilo Cong-o explained the distance to Esperos but the Atoms coach insisted the service line should be six meters from the center.

Three time defending champion and favorite in University of Baguio opened its title defense Friday against the Philippine Military Academy, in what could be the preview of two teams that will go to the semis.

UB remains the most dreaded squad with an intact line up led by setter Cherry Atuban and sister Mary Anne, Belle Belsa, Hanna Relox, the blocking duo of Carmela Dicksen and Nicole Guyguyon and the league’s top libero Mary Ann Alerta, who is on her second year at the back court.

Meanwhile, 2015 men’s champion UB also cruised past the BCT Atoms in three sets. Like the SLU-BCT game, the Atoms also fought like there was no tomorrow and fell 23-25, 21-25 and 25-27. (Jean Annanayo/UC Intern with Pigeon Lobien)