SAN Sebastian booked a place in the finals of the NCAA women's volleyball tournament by beating Arellano University, 25-15, 25-27, 28-26, 25-22, on Thursday in a fiercely fought match at The Arena in San Juan.
The Lady Stags nearly squandered an 18-13 lead in the fourth set as they allowed Arellano to pull within one at 19-20, but a fiery windup led by Czarina Berbano sealed the match.
"Happy kami kasi ang pinaka-goal namin ay ang finals," said San Sebastian coach Clint Malazo.
San Sebastian now gets a chance to get back at University of Perpetual Help, which snapped the Lady Stags' run of successive league championships at five by winning last year's title.
"Masaya syempre kasi finals kami ulit," said SSCR team captain Ara Mallare. "Yung last noong 2011 pa, kaya excited na kami."
Super rookie Gretchel Soltones came up with a career-high 31 points, all from attacks, to lead the Lady Stags, while Jolina Labiano contributed 20 and Berbano 10 on nine hits and one block.
Danna Henson finished with 19 markers, from 15 spikes, one block and three service aces, and Shirly Salamagos added 13, from nine hits and four blocks.