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SSC nears automatic Finals berth; Mapua ends season with sole win

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The San Sebastian College – Recoletos Lady Stags positioned themselves within a game of return to the NCAA Women’s Volleyball Tournament after blasting the Lyceum of the Philippines University Lady Pirates, 20-25, 25-13, 25-11, 25-14 at the FilOil Flying V Centre, earlier today.

After a lackadaisical effort in the first set, the Lady Stags wasted no time burying their foes in insurmountable leads in the following frames. San Sebastian got the better of their counterparts in nearly all scoring skills, finishing with 23 more attacks and seven more service aces.

Reigning MVP, Grethcel Soltones waxed hot for the Lady Stags amassing a game-high 27 points off 24 attacks and three aces while Nikka Dalisay and Katherine Villegas pitched in 16 and 11 markers apiece. Grenlen Malapit was the only Lady Pirate who scored in double-digits, managing 15.

With an immaculate 8-0 record, the Lady Stags could earn a ticket straight to the Finals and thrice-to-beat advantage if they beat the CSB Lady Blazers on Sunday. Lycem’s loss sends them out of the Final Four, finishing with a 4-5 record.

In the final match of the day, the Mapua Lady Cardinals survived thrilling five-set decision, 25-20, 25-23, 18-25, 15-25, 16-14 over the Colegio De San Juan De Letran Lady Knights and earned their only win of the season.

The Lady Cardinals were behind for the majority of the match, having to comeback from early deficits in the first two sets. Letran, however, rallied and forced a deciding fifth set behind superb attacking and a revitalized defensive effort.

The final set saw the Lady Cardinals take a 7-2 lead before the Lady Knights salvaged a 7-0 blitz to take the lead. Both teams then traded points with the Lady Knights getting first crack at match point, 14-12. But the Mapuans took control from there, scoring the last four points of the match with the two game-clinching points coming off Letran attack errors.

Hazel Sedenio and Dianne Latayan led Mapua with 13 points apiece while Katrina Racelis contributed 10. Letran’s Mikaela Lopez topped the match with 17 points.

Mapua ends their season on high at 1-8 while Letran sits at 0-8 and could still earn a victory on Sunday against the AU Lady Chiefs.

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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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