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Lady Stags gore Lady Chiefs, Lady Pirates drown Lady Knights

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Saturday saw the Final Four picture of the NCAA Women’s Volleyball Tournament get even murkier with a preseason underdog now sitting atop the league, and an upcoming program making a firm case for a Final Four spot at the FilOil Flying V Arena.

Grethcel Soltones dazzled the crowd in the first match, leading her San Sebastian College – Recoletos Lady Stags over their Finals tormentor from last season, the Arellano University Lady Chiefs in four sets, 25-23, 18-25, 25-21, 25-23.

National Team staple Soltones nearly single-handedly carried the offensive load for the Lady Stags, recording a tournament-best 33 points off 31 attacks, a block, and an ace. Joyce Sta. Rita rounded out SSC’s offense, scoring nine markers.

The reigning MVP’s offensive explosion spearheaded a 53-44 San Sebastian attacking advantage, which came in handy as the Lady Stags coughed up a staggering 39 errors to Arellano’s 28. While defending champs AU imposed their height advantage through a 7-2 block kills gap, their back row could not withstand the powerful serving of the Lady Stags who bombarded them with 10 aces.

Middle blockers Shirley Salamagos and CJ Rosario led AU with 14 and 12 points respectively, while opposite hitter Dana Henson pitched in 10 markers.

In the final match of the day, the Lyceum of the Philippines University Lady Pirates strengthened their chances for a Final Four appearance after handling the floundering Colegio San Juan de Letran Lady Knights in four sets, 25-21, 25-21, 20-25, 18-25.

With both teams struggling to limit their errors, the Lady Pirates got enough offensive production from their key players to edge out the listless Lady Knights. Mickaela Andres led Lyceum’s balanced attack with 13 points, while Cherilyn Sindayen followed with 12 markers. Czarina Orros and Jhemil Abadilla had 11 and 10 points respectively.

Letran team captain, Juno Carreon powered her team with 12 poimts while Regielyn Cabrera pitched in nine markers.

The Lady Stags now sit atop the standings with a clean 5-0 record while the Lady Chiefs are now tied at second with the CSB Lady Blazers with 4-1 records. Lyceum, meanwhile, remains knotted at fourth with the UPHSD Lady Altas with a 3-2 record.

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Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.

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