Seward Silences Beaver Dome
Brock Kappelmann - September 6, 2016 6:36 am
The Beaverdome was rocking Monday night in Pratt’s home opener against the Seward County Lady Saints, but the gals in green spoiled the Beavers party, silencing a raucous home crowd to the tune of a 3-0 sweep to push the Lady Saints to 5-2 on the year and 2-1 in Jayhawk West Conference play.
Going into the match, it was the Lady Saints goal to get off to a better start, after dropping the first set in each of their last four matches. They did just that on Monday against the Beavers, bolting out to a 6-2 advantage in the first, highlighted by an early ace from Kimberly Diaz and a stuff block from middle Belissa Guidotti. After Pratt closed the Seward lead to just one, the Lady Saints went on another burst, this time a 6-0 run thanks in part to a pair of kills from Maritza Mesa to stretch their lead back out to 17-10. Pratt never threatened again as Mariana Nascimento found a hole of the Beaver defense and then finished them off with an ace to give the Lady Saints a 25-17 first set win. It was a big offensive first set for Seward who hit just under .500 as a team, banging home 15 kills with just one error on 27 swings.
The second set was a little bit more of a grinder from start to finish for the two sides. Pratt jumped out to a 7-4 lead before watching as Seward clawed back in, tying the set at 10 at the 20 point mark. They went back and forth without either side holding more than a one point lead through the middle of the set until a Beaver kill gave Pratt a two point edge at 19-17. Again the Lady Saints fought back, eventually tying the score at 21 on an ace from Giovanna Kuntze and the score remained tied four points later at 23-23. A reception error by Seward gave Pratt set point at 24-23, but the Lady Saints stayed alive with a quick side out on a kill from Mesa to make it 24-24. A big solo block from Nascimento gave the Lady Saints a crack at a set point of their own and they were able to capitalize as the Beavers got trapped in the net to give Seward a point and the set 26-24.
Another slow start plagued Seward in the third as they found themselves deadlocked with the Beavers 18 points in at 9-9. From that point however, it was all Lady Saints. Seward scored four of the next five to take a 13-10 lead at the midway point and padded their lead to six on a kill from Briana Domino and an ace off the left arm of Mesa. Pratt trimmed the Seward lead to five late in the set, but the Lady Saints finished with a flurry, scoring the final three of the period to take it 25-17 to wrap up the sweep.
The Lady Saints were extremely efficient in the win, hitting .359 with just four hitting errors as a team on the night. Mesa again paced the Seward offense with 10 kills while Kaysie Paxton had nine and Nascimento and Domino each had six without an error. Amanda Pereira led Seward with 18 assists, Kuntze had 14 while Diaz and Daimond Aguinaldo paced the Lady Saints back row with a combined 30 digs in the victory.
Seward improves to 5-2 on the year with the win and also bumps their Jayhawk West mark to 2-1 which is good for 3rd place in the early going. Pratt falls to 5-4 overall and drops their Jayhawk opener to fall to 0-1.
Next up for Seward will be a trip to Odessa in the Lone Star State where they will face foes from three different states in their four scheduled games there beginning Friday.
SEWARD COUNTY/PRATT BOX SCORE<http://www.sewardsaints.com/sports/wvball/2016-17/boxscores/20160905_7o2i.xml>