San Sebastian downs St. Benilde to complete elims sweep, gain outright finals spot
Grethcel Soltones and the San Sebastian belles fight back from a set down to beat titleholder St. Benilde. Dante Peralta

SAN Sebastian College completed an elimination round sweep to earn an outright finals berth with a thrice-to-beat advantage in the NCAA Season 92 women’s volleyball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.

SSC fought back from a set down to defeat defending champion College of St. Benilde, 22-25, 25-22, 25-13, 25-14 on Wednesday.

Two-time reigning MVP Grethcel Soltones fired a season-high 30 points, middle blocker Katherine Villegas added 12 points including five of the team’s 10 service aces, and Joyce Sta. Rita chipped in 10 markers.

Libero Alyssa Eroa had 17 excellent receptions and 37 of the team’s 74 digs in the match that took an hour and 35 minutes.

“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 coach Roger Rogayeb.

Last year SSC also swept the nine-match eliminations only to lose to CSB in four matches.

“Ayoko na isipin na thrice-to-beat kasi hindi naman talaga thrice-to-beat ’yan eh. Lagi ko sinasabi ang thrice-to-beat isang beses lang ako manalo, tapos na ang laro, eh hindi eh,” said Gorayeb.

Arellano University earlier secured the No. 2 spot in the semifinals with a twice-to-beat advantage, while St. Benilde, San Beda College and University of Perpetual Help are battling for the last two spots.

Team captain Jeanette Panaga and Jan Dagul each had 10 points for CSB, which dropped to 6-3, tied with San Beda.

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