GRETCEL Soltones scored 33 points to power San Sebastian to a vengeful 25-23, 18-25, 25-23, 25-21 win over defending champion Arellano in the 91st NCAA women's volleyball tournament at The Arena on Saturday.
The reigning league MVP and national player put on a masterclass adorned by 31 hits, one block and an ace to lead the Recto-based squad against the same team that beat the Lady Stags in last year's finals.
The fifth straight win also enabled the Lady Stags to seize the solo lead in the nine-team tournament as the Lady Chiefs slipped to 4-1.
“Hindi ko nga napansin na ganoon na pala kalaki ang ginawa ni Gretcel,” said SSC veteran coach Roger Gorayeb, who was quick to dismiss that revenge was a source of motivation for the team.
Instead, Gorayeb said the main goal is to earn a spot in the top two - and a twice-to-beat advantage in the semifinals.
“Ang target namin ay ang No. 1 or no. 2 kasi ‘yun ang may twice-to-beat pagpasok ng susunod na round,” he said.
Joyce Sta. Rita, Katherine Villegas and Dangie Encarnacion combined for 23 points to back up Soltones.
Shirley Salamagos had 14 points, Christine Joy Rosario finished with 12 while Danna Henson made 10 for the Lady Chiefs.
In the other women’s match, Lyceum trounced Letran, 25-21, 25-21, 20-25, 25-18, to improve to 3-2 and tie Emilio Aguinaldo College for fourth spot.
The Lady Knights absorbed a fifth consecutive loss (0-5) and dropped to the bottom with Mapua.