Seward began the first in unfortunately typical fashion, starting slow and finding themselves in a dogfight with the Conqs, holding a narrow lead at 8-7 at the 15 point mark of the set. A 3-0 run propelled Seward forward and it looked like they had things under control, leading 14-9 midway through the period, but Dodge continued to fight, crawling back to within one moments later at 18-17. A pair of kills in the middle from Belissa Guidotti pushed the Seward lead back to three, but the Lady Saints’ sixth service error of the set allowed the Conqs to stay in the game. Eventually a well-executed slide play from Amanda Pereira to Mariana Nascimento sealed the deal, giving the Lady Saints a 25-21 win to go ahead 1-0 in the match. Dodge did little to deter the Seward offense in the first as the Lady Saints hit .480 in the period with 15 kills and three errors on just 25 attacks.
The Lady Saints started out much better in the second, bolting out to an early 8-3 advantage. However, a sideout by the Conqs led Dodge on a 4-0 run, quickly bringing them back to within one of Seward before a timeout. The Lady Saints owned the next three points, getting a kill from Kaysie Paxton, an ace from Nascimento, and a solo block from Paxton to quickly stretch their lead back to four. There was no looking back from there for Seward who owned the second part of the set, outscoring Dodge 12-4 down the stretch to run away with a 25-12 win to go in front 2-0 in the match. Seward was again efficient offensively, hitting .476 as a team, smashing home 13 kills on just 21 swings.
Moving their rotation around with the early 2-0 lead, the Lady Saints struggled some as the third began. Dodge took their first extended lead of the match, going in front 9-6 to begin the set. Three quick points for Seward evened the score at nine and later on a pair of kills from Nascimento and a solo block from the freshman pushed the Lady Saints lead out to three at 16-13. Seward continued to shoot themselves in the foot, committing a pair of hitting errors and a ball handling error to allow Dodge to come back and tie the score up once again. Tied at 17, Seward stepped on the gas one final time as Nascimento continued her career night with a seam shot through the middle of the Dodge defense and Paxton went offspeed for a kill to spur an 8-3 run to close out the match, giving the Lady Saints a 25-20 win to wrap up the sweep.
Seward finished with a .407 team hitting percentage, its best in a Jayhawk West match this season. The Lady Saints were led by a record breaking performance from Nascimento who’s .812 hitting mark in the match marked the best single game percentage by any Seward player with at least 10 kills in program history. The freshman middle ended the night with 13 kills on just 16 total attacks while star Maritza Mesa played second fiddle with 11 kills in the win. Pereira quarterbacked the offense with 33 assists while defensive specialist Jazlyn Smith filled that role solidly with a team best 10 digs.
The Lady Saints improve to 13-5 overall on the season and better yet, 5-1 in Jayhawk West Conference play. Seward will now begin a three match streak against the three teams surrounding them in the conference standings as they hit the road to battle 4-2 Barton on Saturday in Great Bend before returning home to take on 6-1 Hutchinson Monday and jumping back on the bus for a trip to 5-1 Colby next Wednesday. When Seward returns home on Monday against Hutchinson, Pizza Hut will sponsor ‘Pack the House’ Night, giving prizes to every Seward student in the Greenhouse by match time as well as passing out free pizzas throughout the stands before the match.
SEWARD COUNTY/DODGE CITY BOX SCORE<http://www.sewardsaints.com/sports/wvball/2016-17/boxscores/20160921_cix9.xml>