For the fourth straight match, the Seward County Lady Saints dropped their opening set Friday night in their 2016 opener in the Greenhouse against Butler. However, unlike their past two contests, the gals in green were able to dig themselves out of the hole, coming from behind to knock off the Grizzlies by a count of 3-1 to collect their first win in Jayhawk West Conference action.
With both teams looking for their first conference win of the season, action was tight early on with Seward and Butler knotted at eight apiece 16 points into the first set. Seward went ice cold, watching as the Grizzlies built a five point lead before the Lady Saints roared back behind a pair of tip kills from Amanda Pereira tied the score up at 20 late in the period. Just when it looked like Seward had momentum on their side, they again fell flat as Butler scored five of the final seven points of the set to win it 25-22. The Lady Saints had 14 kills in the set, but seven big hitting errors haunted them in the three point loss.
Once again, the Lady Saints dug themselves a hole as the second set began, falling behind 7-3 to start things. They scratched back to tie the score at eight moments later and used the momentum to boost them on a big run, highlighted by a blast from Briana Domino to take a 20-13 lead. After a couple of slip ups, the Lady Saints finally put the Grizzlies away with a 25-17 win to even the match at 1-1 into the intermission.
In the key third set, it was the Grizzlies jumping out to another lead on Seward, this time Butler held a three point, 12-9 advantage at the midway point of the period. A big block on the outside by Mariana Nascimento and Domino drew things even at 15 moments later, but it was the Grizzlies regaining control to take a 23-22 lead deep into the set. That’s when Seward decided it was going to be their night, scoring the final three points of the period to win 25-22 and take a 2-1 lead in the match. Seward had a season high 16 kills in the third as a team, hitting .314 with five errors in 35 swings.
The Lady Saints finally got off to a better start in the fourth, jumping in front 8-3 and pushing that out to 13-6 after three straight points midway through. They didn’t relent with the match in the balance, blowing the Grizzlies away 25-16 to complete the comeback with a 3-1 victory.
Seward finished the match hitting .268 as a team with 51 kills and 21 errors on the night. Maritza Mesa again led the Lady Saints with a big night, going for 17 kills and 10 digs in her second double-double of the campaign. Nascimento had a bounce back match as well, finishing off nine kills and recording a season high for any Seward player with nine blocks. Pereira flirted with a triple-double for the Lady Saints at the setting position, sneaking in seven kills to go along with eight digs and a match high 36 assists in the win.
The Lady Saints snap a mini two game losing streak with the victory, improving to 4-2 overall and 1-1 in Jayhawk West play with the win. Butler drops back to .500 on the season at 4-4 with the loss, remaining winless in conference action at 0-3.
Seward will continue a busy conference schedule on Monday when they travel to Pratt to take on the Beavers in Pratt’s 2016 Jayhawk West opener in the Beaverdome.
SEWARD COUNTY/BUTLER BOX SCORE<http://www.sewardsaints.com/sports/wvball/2016-17/boxscores/20160902_870p.xml>