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Seward Drops Home Conference Match to Butler

KSCB News - September 27, 2014 6:56 am

It was another mixed bag for the Seward County Lady Saints Friday afternoon as they opened up play in the 2014 Ozfest Invitational in the Greenhouse. Unfortunately for the gals in green, the win they picked up in the split was a non-conference tilt against Fort Hays State 2, while their loss was a crucial five set Jayhawk West match with newcomer Butler.

The Lady Saints most important match of the weekend came first as they took on Butler in a Jayhawk West Conference contest. Butler jumped on Seward right away in their first trip to the Greenhouse in eight seasons and took an 11-5 lead to start the action. Seward crept back to within four, but three straight attack errors pushed the Grizzly lead back to 15-8. The Lady Saints continued to shoot themselves in the foot and committed service errors on three straight chances late in the set en route to a 25-19 defeat in the first.

Seward got out to a quick 3-0 start in the second, but Butler scored the next five to take a 5-3 advantage. Still down by two, 9-7 later on, the Lady Saints went on a 5-1 mini-run, highlighted by kills from Kristen Anderson and Carolina Gasparini to take a 12-10 lead. The tough serve of freshman Megan Sharratt gave the Grizzlies problems and Seward extended their lead to 20-14 after a pair of aces from the middle hitter. Two kills from Thayna Silva and two aces from libero Kari Anderson sealed the deal for the Lady Saints in the second as they went on to win 25-19 to even the match at 1-1.

It was another poor start for Seward on the West end of the floor in the third as Butler once again grabbed a 10-5 lead out of the gates on the Lady Saints. Seward played catch up the rest of the way as the Grizzlies extended their lead to six on a Seward attack error and then to seven at 19-12 on back to back kills. The Lady Saints used a pair of Grizzly mistakes along with a kill from Anderson to climb back to within three and actually got all the way to within one on an ace from Nacole Miller late in the set, but Butler scored four of the final five points in the period to win 25-21 and take a 2-1 lead in the match.

A switch in sides of the court once again appeased the Lady Saints in the fourth as they got a kill from Carolina Freitas early in the set and another from Carolina Gasparini moments later to jump out to a 9-3 advantage. A cold spell watched Butler make a comeback bid and tie the set at 11 midway through, but the Lady Saints went on a 5-1 run to take the lead back and stretch it out to a 16-12 cushion. It was all Seward from there as Sharratt got a solo block in the middle and Silva picked up two more kills to highlight a 25-16 win for the Lady Saints in the set to force a fifth set tiebreaker.

Things looked promising for the Lady Saints in the fifth as it appeared as if their momentum from a big fourth set win carried right over into the decider as they got a pair of kills from Freitas and a block from Sharratt and Silva to take a 5-1 lead to begin things. Seward was still in good shape at the changeover, leading 8-4, but that is when things fell apart for the Lady Saints as they watched Butler score six straight points to take a 10-8 lead. The Lady Saints never recovered from the stretch as Butler stayed in front for the duration of the set, winning 15-12 to take the match 3-2 and send the Seward faithful home disappointed.

The Lady Saints individual numbers didn’t look too bad in the defeat, but it was the abundance of errors that racked up during the match that did. The Lady Saints finished with 46 total errors, including 22 hitting and 13 service errors in the loss. Silva, Miller, and Gasparini each recorded double doubles in the loss for Seward as Silva finished with a team best 13 kills to go along with 13 digs, Miller had a team high 25 assists as well as 10 digs, and Gasparini had 12 kills and a team best 20 digs for the Lady Saints. Kristen Anderson finished with a season best 7 kills on just 12 swings, good for a .583 hitting percentage in the match. Seward struggled mightily once again on the defensive end at the net where they had just 4 blocks as a team in the five set match, a team high 3 of those coming from Sharratt.

SEWARD COUNTY/BUTLER BOX SCORE<http://www.sewardsaints.com/sports/wvball/2014-15/boxscores/20140926_h9nh.xml>

In the final match of the night on day one of the tournament, the Lady Saints hosted Fort Hays State’s number 2 squad. The Lady Saints offense was aggressive early, pounding down six kills in the first 15 points of the set, but four attack errors helped the Tigers remained in it as Seward led 9-6 out of the gates. A pair of Freitas kills and another from Sharratt in the middle pushed the Lady Saints lead to 15-10 and they remained five up moments later on a kill from Angelina Minor to make it 17-12. A stretch of four straight miscues for the Lady Saints allowed Hays back to within one, and once the negative snowball started running down the mountain, the Lady Saints had trouble stopping its momentum. Hays ended the set on a 13-3 run as the Lady Saints managed just one kill in the final 16 points of the set as the Tigers went on to win 25-20 to take a 1-0 lead in the match.

The second set didn’t start well for the Lady Saints, but they quickly recovered and found themselves tied with Hays at 8-8 after a kill from Sharratt in the early going. Three kills in four points from Gasparini put Seward up 12-9 and the Lady Saints continued to push, stretching their lead to four later on, before going on to win by that same margin 25-21 to even things up.

The third set was all Lady Saints from the outset. Seward took an early 10-5 lead on back to back kills from Gasparini and Minor and stretched that lead to 16-9 when Silva and Sharratt combined for a block on the right side. A pair of Silva kills and a solo block from the sophomore put the Lady Saints up big 19-10 and kills from Kristen Anderson and Freitas put the set away 25-15 to give the Lady Saints a 2-1 lead. Seward finished with 15 kills and just 1 error in the set, good for a cool .368 hitting percentage as a team.

Things looked like they were much on their way to another blowout Seward win in the fourth as the Lady Saints jumped out to an 11-6 lead and got back to back aces from Silva to keep it that way at the midway point with the score 14-9. The Lady Saints remained up by a handful to 10-15, but two straight hitting errors and an errant set allowed Hays to pick up some momentum and they took advantage of it, coming back to tie the score at 21 before going on top 22-21 on a Lady Saint reception error. A Tiger service error followed by an attack error and an ace by the Lady Saints gave Seward the lead back and actually set them up for match point, but two failed attempts to close for Seward saw the set tied back up at 24. A kill from Sharratt gave the Lady Saints another crack at match point but a service error quickly extinguished those flames. They got another chance to finish with the score 27-26 after a Kristen Anderson kill, but the Lady Saints 9th service error of the match denied them that chance for the time being. A kill from Freitas gave the Lady Saints their sixth chance to send the Tigers home and finally the defense rose to the occasion and did just that as Anderson and Sharratt combined for a block right in front of the homestanding fans to give the Lady Saints a 29-27 win to take the match 3-1.

Seward had 54 kills in the match and hit .176 as a team, led by Silva who buried 16 kills and also had 13 digs for the Lady Saints. Gasparini had 8 kills and 16 digs for Seward while Sharratt had 7 kills and a team best 4 blocks. Miller dished out a team best 29 assists in the victory and played her part defensively as well, registering a career high 16 digs in the process. Just one week after pulling up a career high 35 digs against Laramie County, Kari Anderson one upped herself with a new career high of 38 digs in the four set win over the Tigers Friday night.

SEWARD COUNTY/FORT HAYS STATE 2 BOX SCORE<http://www.sewardsaints.com/sports/wvball/2014-15/boxscores/20140926_8rlz.xml>

The Lady Saints overall record moves to 13-11 with the split while their Jayhawk West Conference mark drops to 3-3, where they now sit in 5th place in the conference standings.

Action in the 2014 Ozfest Invitational Tournament will continue on Saturday where Seward will meet Western Texas at 12:00 and will close out the classic with Frank Phillips at 6:00.

For complete day one results, scores, and video from the Ozfest Invitational CLICK HERE<http://www.sewardsaints.com/sports/wvball/2014-15/releases/20140924log712>

 

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