Lady Stags sweep elims, clinch outright Finals spot
Mark Escarlote on Jan 25, 2017 02:30 PM
San Sebastian College punches a ride straight to the championship round after sweeping the 9-game elimination round.
San Sebastian College marched straight to the Finals after completing a 9-game sweep of the elimination round as the Lady Stags exacted revenge over reigning champion College of St. Benilde, 22-25, 25-22, 25-13, 25-14, Wednesday in the 92nd NCAA women’s volleyball competition at The Arena in San Juan.
Grethcel Soltones had a monster game after a season-best 30-point explosion with all but one coming off kills for SSC-R, which smashed the defense of the Lady Blazers with 55 kills and 10 service aces.
Katherine Villegas added 12 points while Joyce Sta. Rita finished with 10 markers for the Recto-based squad, which will carry a thrice-to-beat advantage in Finals for the second straight year while sending the semifinals in a stepladder format with Arellano University (7-1) enjoying a twice-to-beat advantage.
Aside from the free ride to the championship round, the win was doubly sweeter for the Lady Stags as it erased the bitter memory of last year’s title series where they were beaten thrice by CSB in four games of the series.
Masaya ulit kasi magfa-Finals uli kami pero iiwasan na namin ang nangyari noong isang taon kaya magpi-prepare akong maiigi sa mga ‘yan,” said SSC-R head coach Roger Gorayeb.
SSC-R recovered just in time after a sluggish start that got them trailing by a set.
With Soltones and Villegas leading the way, the Lady Stags regrouped to take the next three frames and send CSB in a precarious position for the last semis spot.
The Lady Blazers slid to 6-3 win-loss record tied with San Beda College and could play in a dangerous playoff for the last stepladder semifinals slot in case Perpetual Help (5-3) defeats Arellano University in the ongoing match as of posting time.
Jeanette Panaga and Jan Daguil scored 10 points each while Ranya Musa was limited to only six markers for the Taft-based squad.
In the men’s match, the Blazers secured a twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four with a 25-14, 24-26, 31-29, 25-20, win over the Stags.
Isaah Arda and John Vic De Guzman had 23 and 19 points, respectively, to lead CSB to an 8-1 elims finish.
SSC-R closed the season with a 3-6 card.
In the juniors division, SSC-R pocketed its only win of the season after seven outings at the expense of the listless CSB-La Salle Greenhills side, 25-16, 24-26, 25-14, 25-19.
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