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    Lady Stags seek 23rd NCAA women's volleyball title, Benilde its first in do-or-die match

    Jan 27, 2016
    Janine Navarro and St. Benilde are looking for a first-ever NCAA title. Jaime Campos

    SAN Sebastian seeks to ride on another strong performance from Grethcel Soltones while St. Benilde tries to find a way to slow her down when they collide on Thursday for all the marbles in the 91st NCAA women's volleyball tournament at The Arena in San Juan City.

    Soltones, the reigning back-to-back MVP, will be the player the watch anew after she erupted for a series-high 31 hits, including 27 on attacks, that propelled the Lady Stags to a 25-22, 25-19, 26-28, 25-23 victory and set up a deciding game with the Lady Blazers set at 3:30 p.m.

    San Sebastian coach Roger Gorayeb said their recent victory will serve them well considering St. Benilde will only have one day to re-assess its strategy come the final game of the volleyball season.

    "It's not a sure thing but I think it will be to our advantage because we're coming off a win and they have one day to make adjustments," said Gorayeb.

    The Lady Stags will be gunning for a league-best 25th women's championship and the Lady Blazers their first.

    Interestingly, Gorayeb will be eyeing his 23rd women's championship as coach to add up to his rare Grand Slam in the Shakey's V-League last year.

    "I just want to win it for the girls and for the school because I don't count it anymore," said Gorayeb.

    [See Fuming Soltones rips into teammates in pre-game wake-up call]

    After San Sebastian dropped the first two finals games, Soltones went on attack mode and ended up with a series-best effort, eclipsing her pair of 27-hit performance in the first two games that resulted in two painful defeats.

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    Gorayeb said the key is not Soltones scoring more but his other players playing key roles.

    "Grethcel will always be Grethcel. What we need is team effort. We did it that last game and if we can do it again, we'll have a chance," said Gorayeb.

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    Janine Navarro and St. Benilde are looking for a first-ever NCAA title. Jaime Campos
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