JUMPING straight to the Finals for the second straight season, San Sebastian hopes to get the job done this time.
The Lady Stags again swept the nine-game eliminations, needing to weather defending champion College of Saint Benilde’s stand in the first two sets before coasting to a 22-25, 25-22, 25-13, 25-14 victory in the NCAA women's volleyball tournament yesterday at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
San Sebastian thus netted the thrice-to-beat incentive for clinching the outright championship berth, as it need two wins to end a five-year title drought.
The Lady Stags also had this tremendous advantage last year but the Lady Blazers, who came all the way from nowhere, did the improbable possible by winning their first title.
“Masaya kasi magpa-Finals ulit kami," said San Sebastian coach Roger Gorayeb. "Pero iiwasan na namin yung nangyari noong isang taon. Kaya magpe-prepare kami ng maigi."
Taking over when mattered, reigning two-time MVP Grethcel Soltones unloaded a season-high 30 points and collected 13 digs to lead the way for the Lady Stags.
It may sound a broken record, but Gorayeb wants his other spikers to step up to lessen the burden for Soltones, who will make her fourth Finals appearance in the league.
“Critical kasi yung ka-diagonal ni Grethcel, pati yung quicker," said Gorayeb.
:Noong first set, may depensa kami pero wala kaming first ball. Kapag naka-receive kami, mahihirapan sila.”
San Sebastian middles deliver anew, as Katherine Villegas added 12 points while Joyce Sta. Rita had two blocks for a 10-point effort.
blocks, for Arellano.
The Lady Altas will miss the Final Four for the first time since the 2010-11 season. Perpetual Help tallied a 5-4 card in a tie with Lyceum of the Philippines University in fifth place.