MANILA, Philippines – San Sebastian rode of Grethcel Soltones’ strong play as it trounced Perpetual Help, 25-22, 25-13, 25-13, yesterday to clinch the first Final Four berth in the women’s division of the 92nd NCAA volleyball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan.
The power-hitting Soltones, the reigning back-to-back MVP, unloaded a match-best 19 hits she spiked with 18 kills to power the Lady Stags to the Final Four after nailing their seventh straight victory in as many games.
San Sebastian could sweep its way straight to the finals where it will enjoy a thrice-to-beat advantage if it overcomes Lyceum of the Phl U on Jan. 23 and defending champion St. Benilde on Jan. 25 in a reprise of last year’s finals.
“Our target is to be No. 1 but we still have two games to go and we know Lyceum and St. Benilde are both strong teams,” said Gorayeb in Filipino.
The Lady Stags also sent the Lady Altas to their third defeat against the same number of wins and on the brink of being eliminated.
Earlier, Arellano U pulled the rug from under reigning titlist St. Benilde, 25-21, 25-21, 25-21, to seize solo second place with a 6-1 (win-loss) record.
Skipper Rialen Sante paced her team with 15 points while Jovielyn Prado and Ma. Erica Calixto contributed 13 and 10 hits, respectively, to help propel the Lady Chiefs to their sixth win in a row after dropping its opening game against San Sebastian in five sets.
Arellano U also avenged its bitter loss to St. Benilde in the stepladder semis where the former was seeded No. 2 only to lose to the latter.
“We’ve prepared one year for this one game and I’m happy we delivered,” said Arellano U coach Obet Javier.