Lady Saints Fall in Championship
Joe Denoyer - November 24, 2019 7:15 am
The Lady Saints volleyball team lost in extra points in the 5th set of the NJCAA National Championship Game. Seward County rallied from an 0-2 set deficit to force one of the greatest finishes in Championship history.
Navarro jumped out to an early 7 point lead in Set 1, fueled by 5 kills from Jordan Russell of Navarro. The Saints would rally back and take a 17-16 lead after a kill by Yanlis Feliz. The finish in Set 1 would only set the stage for the rest of the night. After a kill by Djuly Schmorantz that tied the game at 24 apiece, the teams would trade points all the way until 30-30. After Navarro took a 1-point lead, an attack error by Felix would give Navarro the win in Set 1.
The second set would be even closer as neither team would lead by more than two points as they changed the lead 6 times and 11 ties. However, the Lady Saints got in their own way at the end, committing 4 errors in the final 6 points to give Navarro a 25-19 set win to make it 2-0.
With their backs against the wall in a do or die set, the Lady Saints were ready for the challenge. Dorianne Lebron was inserted in the lineup and made an immediate impact, notching back to back blocks as the Saints built an 11-4 lead early. While Navarro was able to keep it close, the Saints ensured there would be more volleyball after Djuly Schmorantz notched the final kill to win Set 3 25-20.
From here, things only got more interesting in a drama-packed 4th set featuring multiple yellow and one red card. After an early Saints lead, Navarro was able to build multiple 3-point leads as they closed in on a potential championship. With the score 18-21 Navarro, the Lady Saints made one final push. The dynamic duo of Laura De Pra and Yanlis Feliz were able to fuel a 24-24 tie. From there, we saw our 2nd extra point set of the night, this time the Saints pulling it out after a service ace by Feliz. 27-25 Seward.
That left the final 5th set to decide the fate of both teams, and it did not disappoint. The 5th set featured 15 tie scores and 10 lead changes. Neither team was able to separate themselves. After Navarro took an 8-5 lead, the Lady Saints rallied for 4 straight points to make it 9-8. After a big kill by Monica Wood to make it 14-13 Navarro, a kill by Lebron and a block by Mesalina Severino pushed the Lady Saints on the cusp of a Championship at 15-14. However, it was not meant to be as Navarro took 5 of the final 7 points to win 19-17 and win the game 3-2.
For the match, Yanlis Feliz notched 34 kills and Laura De Pra dished out 61 assists.
The Lady Saint Volleyball team was able to accomplish the best finish in program history as NJCAA National Runner-Up. For their performances, Djuly Schmorantz, Yanlis Feliz, and Laura De Pra were named All-Tournament Team.