Mesa and Nascimento Make All Region Team
Brock Kappelmann - November 11, 2016 7:02 am
Following their first Region VI Championship in 13 years on Sunday, four Seward County Lady Saints were honored as members of the 2016 NJCAA All-Region VI Team.
Seward had two 1st Team selections, led by sophomore right side hitter Maritza Mesa. Mesa had a huge second year for the Lady Saints in 2016, ranking second in the league in kills per set on the season with 3.44, the most by a Seward hitter since 2011. Mesa wasn’t just an offensive force for the Lady Saints though, also finishing second on the team with 2.62 digs per set on the season while chipping in 0.58 blocks per set as well. She finished with 12 double-doubles on the season including an 18 kill, 11 dig performance in the Lady Saints Region VI Championship win.
Joining Mesa on the 1st Team was freshman middle Mariana Nascimento. When the ball found Nascimento’s hand this season, Lady Saints fans could chalk it up as a point as her .416 hitting percentage on the year was second best in the Jayhawk Conference and ranks third in Seward County single season history. She averaged 2.56 kills and 0.96 blocks per set on the season, both ranking in the top 10 in the conference. She had double digit kills in 10 of Seward’s last 13 matches, hitting over .400 in nine of those tilts.
Sophomore setter Amanda Pereira earned 2nd Team honors. She finished third in the Jayhawk Conference averaging 7.23 assists per set this season and also came up big defensively, averaging more digs per set (2.12) than any other Jayhawk setter besides her teammate Giovanna Kuntze. Pereira saved her best for last this season, notching five straight double-doubles to close out the regular season and through the Region Tournament, posting a career high 44 assists against Barton and a career high 17 digs against Hutchinson during the stretch.
Also receiving 2nd Team honors for the Lady Saints was sophomore middle Belissa Guidotti. By far the most improved player on the Seward roster, Guidotti led the league in blocks in 2016, rejecting 1.29 opponent attacks per set which also ranked 9th nationally. Guidotti had at least one block in ever Seward match this season and had multiple blocks in all but one match. She had six or more blocks nine times this year and topped the 10 block mark twice.
Seward’s four All-Region selections tied for the most in the region alongside Barton who also had four, while Hutchinson and Colby each had three.
The Lady Saints are in final preparations for their first NJCAA National Tournament appearance in 13 seasons where they will head to Casper, Wyoming for a November 17th date with Polk State in the first round.