In what quite possibly was their toughest weekend schedule of the 2013
season, the Seward County Lady Saints came out 2-2 in Sterling,
Colorado, picking up wins against 10-1 Otero and DII #11 ranked North
Platte to move to 8-7 on the year.
Following the long drive to the Eastern plains of Colorado, the Lady
Saints opened up play in the 2013 Pizza Hut Classic at Northeastern
Junior College against a red hot Otero team who came into the match at
10-1. In the first set the Lady Saints took an early 6-5 lead on the
Rattlers and stretched their lead to 13-9 midway through the period.
Seward continued to have control of the set as their lead grew to 20-14
before finally putting it away 25-20 to take a 1-0 lead.
In the second set they once again grabbed control from the start, coming
out of the gates up 7-4. It remained a three point spread as the
halfway point hit at 15-12. That's when Seward stepped on the gas. The
Lady Saints scored five of the next six points to go in front 20-13 and
continued on their roll, outscoring Otero 10-2 in the final 12 points of
the set to blow the Rattlers out in the second 25-14. The Lady Saints
were nearly unstoppable in the second set, hitting .650 as a team, their
highest hitting percentage as a club in a set all season. They finished
the set with 14 kills and just 1 error on 20 attacks.
The third set was much like the first two, a good thing for the Lady
Saints. Seward gave themselves a nice cushion early on in the set,
leading 9-4 and remained in front by three 11-8 later on. Otero came
back to tie the set at 13 and then took their first lead of the match at
15-13, but the Lady Saints were ready to put the Rattlers away. Seward
came back to tie the set at 16 and went back in front at 19-18. They
stretched their advantage to 21-18 before finishing things off 25-21 to
sweep the match 3-0.
The numbers were pretty for the Lady Saints after the win. Carolina
Gasparini and Annelise Sanchez each finished with 13 kills with
Gasparini hitting .571 and Sanchez hitting .313 in the match. Also
shining on the offensive end was Kristen Anderson who moved back to her
right side position after setting for Seward the two weeks prior.
Anderson ended the match with 7 kills and a hitting percentage of .333.
Returning back to the lineup after missing the previous four matches,
Nacole Miller led the Lady Saints with 28 assists in the win. Kari
Anderson paced Seward with 19 digs.
SEWARD COUNTY/OTERO BOX SCORE
Next up for the Lady Saints was a true road test against the host school
and 20th ranked Northeastern Plainswomen. It was a dreadfully slow
start for the Lady Saints in the first as Seward immediately found
themselves down big 15-3 to start the set. Their deficit remained a
large one as the set continued as the Lady Saints trailed 19-7 and 21-8
later on. In the final 20 points of the set the Lady Saints played
Northeastern even, but it was the 15-3 early deficit that did them in as
they fell 25-13.
Seward once again got off to a slow start in the second, falling behind
9-5 before a 3-0 Northeastern run stretched their lead to 12-5. The
Lady Saints battled back to make it close midway through at 15-10, but
the Plainswomen opened the lead back up to 20-13 before putting Seward
Off to a good start in the third, the results were much different for
the Lady Saints. Seward scored the first three points of the third set
and led comfortably 10-4 as things got rolling. The Lady Saints pushed
their lead to seven at 15-8 and continued to lead by the same margin
later on at 22-15. Seward finished the set as strong as they started
it, putting the Plainswomen away 25-16 to send the match to a fourth
A 5-1 early run in the fourth had Seward out to a 10-6 lead after the
teams played even through the first 10 points and the Lady Saints
continued to lead midway through at 15-12. Northeastern closed the gap
to just one later on at 19-18, but two straight points gave the Lady
Saints some breathing room up 21-18. Seward once again played the end
of the set well, keeping their distance from the Plainswomen before
finally landing the knockout blow in a 25-21 win to force a fifth set.
In the fifth the Lady Saints did the one thing that had plagued them in
the first two sets, getting behind early. Seward found themselves down
6-3 to get things going and then had to battle back to the changeover
where they trailed 8-6. A 5-1 burst from Northeastern gave the
Plainswomen the steam they needed to go up 13-7 and the deficit was too
large this time for the Lady Saints to overcome as they fell 15-9 to
lose the match 3-2.
Sanchez certainly gave it her all in the loss as the Seward sophomore
finished with a career high 23 kills, shattering her previous high of
18. She notched her fifth double-double of the season, also adding 14
digs in the defeat. Gasparini also reached double digits in kills with
11 while Anderson added 8 for the Lady Saints. Miller dished out 41
assists and had 8 digs. The reigning Jayhawk West Defensive Player of
the Week Kelci Bedingfield finished with 24 digs for the Lady Saints
while fellow defensive specialist Kari Anderson had 9.