GRETCHEL Soltones starred in Smart’s four-set win over Meralco as it kept its unbeaten slate in the Shakey’s V-League Season 10 Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan on Sunday.
The 17-year-old Cebu native pounded back-to-back hits to break a tie and clinched the team’s 25-22, 20-25, 25-20, 27-25 win in over two hours.
It was the third straight victory for the Net Spikers, who claimed the solo lead.
“Execution lang, 'yung atake namin medyo bumagal lang,” said Smart coach Roger Gorayeb.
Soltones, the youngest player in Gorayeb's lineup, finished with 17 points, while veteran Sue Roces and Maru Banaticla added 17 and 14, respectively, for Smart.
Dindin Santiago, who was in uniform, and Alyssa Valdez (in civilian clothes), showed up for the match but did not see action for the Net Spikers.
With the match tied at one-set apiece, Smart pulled away from a 20-all contest by scoring five unanswered points.
In the deciding set, Smart squandered a four-point lead, 7-3, when Meralco came up with four straight points. But the Net Spikers stepped on the gas behind a 12-5 run to take a 23-19 advantage.
Meralco tied the match at 25-all before Soltones came through with her pair of hits for the win.
Coco Wang, Meralco's Chinese reinforcement, registered 18 markers, while Fille Cainglet and Maureen Penetrante-Ouano had 15 and 14 each.
The Power Spikers evened their record at 1-1.