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Hutch Hangover Costly at Colby

Brock Kappelmann - September 29, 2016 6:45 am

Coming off of their biggest win in recent history, the Seward County Lady Saints stay atop the Jayhawk West Conference standings was a short one, just two days in fact, as they traveled to Colby and were swept 3-0 by the Colby Trojans in a match in which Seward failed to hold a single lead in the second or third sets.

In a battle for first place in the Jayhawk West standings, the first set between Seward and Colby was as advertised early on as the Lady Saints and Trojans played to an 11-11 tie as the first approached its midpoint. Seward looked like they were in good shape, using three Mariana Nascimento kills in a four point stretch to take a 20-16 lead, but that is when they went ice cold. Colby roared back, tying the score at 21 and then taking a 22-21 lead of their own late in the period. Seward tied the score at 23 but a Colby kill from All-American Aleksandra Malek followed by the Lady Saints being called into the net, finished the first set 25-23 in favor of the Trojans, the second straight first set that Seward saw come to an end as they were called in the net.

Looking to rebound, the Lady Saints got off to a terrible start in the second, falling behind 7-2 right off the bat in a near must win situation. Slowly the Lady Saints worked their way back into the match, cutting the Colby lead to three midway through the set at 14-11. But the Lady Saints just couldn’t get over the hump, never getting any closer than three to the Trojans as Colby put away the second 25-19 taking a commanding 2-0 lead in the match, eerily reminiscent of last year’s match between the two in the Community Building.

Seward found themselves in the same spot a season ago, down 2-0 to the Trojans on the road before roaring back to win the match 3-2 in a thrilling fifth set. However, it was obvious early in the third that tonight was not going to be another one of those nights. The Lady Saints again started dreadfully, immediately falling behind the Trojans 7-1 to begin the third. Again they battled back, closing to within two twice, but the early deficit was just too much for the Lady Saints as Colby matched their second set final with another 25-19 win, ending Seward’s night early in a 3-0 Trojan sweep.

The Lady Saints offense never found traction in the loss, hitting just .121, their worst mark of the conference season. Nascimento and Kaysie Paxton were the only two Seward hitters to do anything of note in the defeat as Paxton had a team best nine kills and Nascimento had seven with just one error. Against the league’s top serving attack, the Lady Saints struggled as well, registering a season worst 16 reception errors. The lone bright spot for Seward was their block which racked up 15 in the three set loss including 10 from Belissa Guidotti and six apiece from Nascimento and Amanda Pereira.

The loss is a costly one for Seward who slips back to 15-6 overall and 7-2 in Jayhawk West action where they now sit in 2nd place behind the Trojans who improve to 15-4 overall and 7-1 in league action.

Seward won’t have much time to lick their wounds as they hit the road Thursday to take part in the Tyler Invitational in Texas where they will take on #3 Missouri State-West Plains, #5 Panola, #12 San Jacinto, and Navarro over the weekend.

Roy Allen



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