Soltones, Lady Stags inch closer to NCAA beach volley 4-peat
SUBIC BAY—Perpetual Help’s Rey and Relan Taneo smashed last year’s titlist Sam Damian and Alfredo Pagulong of Mapua, 21-17, 21-13, to sweep their way to the men’s finals of the 92nd NCAA beach volleyball tournament at the Subic Bay sands fronting the Subic Park Hotel Saturday.
The Taneo brothers strung together nine straight wins to earn them another trip to the finals while also getting redemption after losing to last season’s champion Mapua.
“We were blessed to have been given a chance at winning the championship, we hope to take advantage of it this time,” said Relan in Filipino.
Perpetual Help will either face Lyceum, Mapua or Emilio Aguinaldo, which finished second to fourth with records of 8-1 (win-loss), 6-3 and 6-3, respectively.
Mapua and EAC collide in a knockout in the first stepladder semis with the winner playing Lyceum, which boasts of a twice-to-beat edge for finishing as the second seed.
Grethcel Soltones and Alyssa Eroa of San Sebastian stay on course of claiming a four-peat feat after the pair outduelled San Beda twins Maria Jeziela at Maria Nieza Viray, 33-31, 21-14, to complete a nine-game sweep of the elimination round and a return trip to the finals.
Soltones, the three-time indoor volleyball MVP, said it was all about focus.
“We have a goal of winning again this year and we’re focused on accomplishing it whatever happens,” said Soltones, playing her fourth and final season.
No. 3 Perpetual Help and No. 3 Jose Rizal clash in a do-or-die showdown with the winner arranging a second stepladder semis duel with No. 2 San Beda, which will enjoy a twice-to-beat edge.
In the juniors’ divison, EAC’s Francis Casas and Rhoe Yean Lasalaand Cee-Jay Hicap went 7-0 in the elims to likewise zoom to the championship round.
In a bizarre plot, five teams ended up in a logjam for the last three semis slot but it was Letran, Lyceum and San Sebastian that booked the seats while Arellano U and Perpetual Help were booted out.
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