Lady Stags pull off big rally, sweep Eagles

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Ateneo’s Michelle Morente has not only SSC’s Gretchel Soltones to defy but also the net as she comes up short with her attack during their Shakey’s V-League Collegiate Conference encounter at the Philsports Arena. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Ateneo’s Michelle Morente has not only SSC’s Gretchel Soltones to defy but also the net as she comes up short with her attack during their Shakey’s V-League Collegiate Conference encounter at the Philsports Arena. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

San Sebastian College charged back from 13 points down at the end of the third, racking up the last 15 points as the Lady Stags hacked out a 25-23, 25-22, 25-23 victory over the undermanned Ateneo Lady Eagles to get back into the thick of things in the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Collegiate Conference at the Philsports Arena in Pasig on Saturday.

Two-time NCAA MVP Gretchel Soltones rammed in a crosscourt kill to snap the Lady Stags’ long scoring spell in the third frame at 12 although they still stayed too far behind the Lady Eagles, who stood two points away from extending the match.

But Soltones hung around the service area till the end of the contest as the Lady Stags kept pounding the Lady Eagles’ fort with vicious spikes while cashing in on their rivals’ miscues, picking up points after points until they tied the count at 23 and before scoring another two to win the set and the match.

“We just hung in there and played tough,” said Soltones, also the MVP of the recent Open Conference of the league sponsored by Shakey’s..


The stirring win also made up for SSC’s three-set setback to the National U last week as the Recoletos-based squad improved to 2-1 in Group A of the two-division tournament backed by MIkasa as official ball and Accel as official outfitter.

“We made some adjustments coming off a loss to NU. We played better this time and showed some toughness on the floor,” added Soltones, who finished with 16 hits, including 12 attack points and four aces.

It was indeed a sorry loss for the young Ateneo squad, which earlier fought back from big deficits to send the first two sets into down-to-the-wire finishes, only to crumble while trying to close out a veteran team like SSC with a big lead.

The Lady Eagles, back-to-back winners here in 2011-12 and runners-up to the Lady Bulldogs last year, fell to 0-2 and in danger of missing the quarters in the single round elims among 10 teams divided into two groups.

Ateneo earlier dropped a five-setter to Technological Institute of the Philippines.

Denice Lim backed Soltones with 12 points while Joyce Sta. Rita, Mariel Dalisay and Katherine Villegas combined for 20 hits while Vira Guillema produced 43 excellent sets for the Lady Stags, who barely nipped the Lady Eagles in spikes, 37-33, and even lost in the blocks, 3-6, and service aces, 9-11.

Rookie Julia Samonte fired 10 hits for Ateneo, which also drew a couple of nine points from Michelle Morente and Pauline Gaston and eight markers from Bea de Leon.

Games tomorrow
4 p.m. – TIP vs NU (V League)
6 p.m. – St. Benilde vs UP (V League)

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