Connect with us
[adinserter block="13"] [adinserter block="3"]

Iron Lady: Soltones and her pursuit for excellence



When Grethcel Soltones entered San Sebastian College Recolletos as a freshman, her school has just won their sixth straight NCAA women’s volleyball title. It was expected, then, that she would help the team claim a seventh.

The Lady Stags relinquished their title after falling short of the Finals series by just a game, losing to University of Perpetual Help System DALTA and Colegio de San Juan de Letran in the Final Four. The drought would continue up to now.

Despite the painful experience, Soltones had never given up on her dream of someday reclaiming the championship for her team and the school. For her, in order for the Lady Stags to accomplish the feat, the work should start with the captain herself. “Magsisimula ako sa sarili ko. ‘Pag ikaw maayos sa laro, susunod yung mga kasama mo.” Taking her cue, the team worked hard in every training session in order to maintain their status among the NCAA elite.

In the build up to season, therefore, the San Sebastian crew had prepared hard. For Gretchel, the primary factor missing in their play is communication on the court. “Yun po talaga ang problema namin, especially sa setter kasi hindi kami magkatugma lahat. Pero we’re working po on our communication,” she explained. Soltones added, “Wala namang binago. [Sa skills,] maayos na sila. Yun lang, ‘tsaka do good in every game.”Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Iron Lady: Soltones and her pursuit for excellence

Their dream of getting back the title this year went off to a good start, after they pulled one back against the very same team to which they lost the title in 2011 – Perpetual Lady Altas. In the third set, Soltones missed her attempt at a backrow hit, which prompted Coach Roger Gorayeb to call for time. In the huddle, coach Gorayeb told the girls to make one good reception to bring Gretchel to the front line. The Lady Stags heeded and Soltones fired two monstrous kills to get the maiden win for her team. “Nung nagmeltdown yung Perpetual, naramdaman ko na ‘ito na,’” she said. She also praised her team for their dedication, and wants them to keep trusting themselves. Soltones relayed, “Gusto ko every game, yung tiwala. Dun kasi nagsisimula yun, sa tiwala [sa sarili].”

The season is far from over, and Soltones and her crew are very much aware of that. “Hindi rin natin masasabi kung papasok ulit kami, kasi maraming malalakas na teams,” she said as a matter-of-fact. Nevertheless, Gretchel is ready to step up to the plate when needed. She ended, “Tibay lang sa depensa; ako bahala sa opensa.”

With Soltones’ leadership, skills, and confidence, San Sebastian are now at the forefront of the competition. The signal is clear: the Lady Stags are in the thick of the fight with their horns up.


Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.

Click to comment