After watching his team lose their first game of the 2014 season earlier in the afternoon, Seward County Head Coach Bert Luallen decided to let his youth loose on the Richland Thunderducks in the Lady Saints second match of the day on Friday, starting all five of his freshman on the roster. That youth got the job done and more, hammering Dallas based Richland 3-0 in a sub-one hour sweep to improve Seward to 6-1 on the year.
There was no hangover effect from their earlier loss as the Lady Saints took the court against Richland in the first set Friday night. Four different players recorded kills to push Seward out to an early 6-1 lead on the Thunderducks and another kill later on from Megan Sharratt put the Lady Saints up 10-2 right off the bat. A kill from Alex Wood and an ace from Sharratt continued to build on Seward's lead as they went up 17-4 before finally going on to win 25-10. Seward hit .650 as a team in the set, recording 13 kills without an error in 20 total attacks.
In the second it was again all green and white early on against the struggling Thunderducks. Two early kills from Angelina Minor gave Seward a 6-2 lead and the Lady Saints pushed their lead to 17-8 as Wood found the line on an attack. Back to back aces from Minor put Seward close and a block from Wood and Lindsey Schwab sealed the deal as the Lady Saints took the second 25-16.
Seward was right back at it in the third as they continued to hammer away at the Richland defense. Two ealry kills from Taryn Bedore and two more from Minor gave the Lady Saints a 8-2 lead to begin the set. Seward turned back to Wood as the middle of the set came and the Lady Saints freshman responded with four kills in six points to put them up double digits at 17-7 and after four aces from Sharratt the score was blown open to 22-7. Richland never made a push and the Lady Saints closed out the Thunderducks by a final score of 25-8 to sweep the match 3-0.
Sharratt had a big match for Seward, finishing with a season high 10 kills and 5 aces while hitting an even .500. Wood and Minor each finished with 9 kills and the duo both just missed double-doubles as Wood had a team best 14 digs and Minor 9 digs in the victory. Bedore dished out a team best 17 assists in the win white the lone sophomore to contribute for Seward was Nacole Miller who ended the match with 11 helpers.
Seward improves to 6-1 with the win while Richland remains in search of their first win of the season at 0-5. Things will get quite a bit tougher for the Lady Saints on Saturday as they go head to head with Frank Phillips and Paris to wrap up the annual tournament.
SEWARD COUNTY/RICHLAND BOX SCORE<http://www.sewardsaints.com/sports/wvball/2014-15/boxscores/20140829_dg3x.xml>
Fort Scott Hands Seward First Loss
All good things must come to an end, unfortunately for the Seward County Lady Saints, their undefeated run to start the 2014 season did just that on Friday afternoon in Vernon, Texas as they fell 3-1 to the Jayhawk East's Fort Scott to drop their overall record to 5-1 on the early season.
Early hitting struggles put the Lady Saints in a hole right off the bat against the Division II Greyhounds. Just 15 points into the first set, Seward dug themselves a five point hole, trailing 10-5. Then it was Ft. Scott's turn to shoot themselves in the foot as a bevy of 'Hound errors allowed the Lady Saints back into things and an ace from Carolina Gasparini midway through the set tied the score at 12. The Lady Saints couldn't keep the momentum though and after Ft. Scott scored eight of the next nine points, Seward found themselves down big 20-13. Just when it looked like the set was over, three kills from Thayna Silva and another two from Gasparini drew the Lady Saints back to within three at 23-20, but as quick as the hope built, it was gone as Ft. Scott finished Seward off with a pair of kills to close out the set 25-20.
Seward got off to a quick start in the second, scoring the first three points of the set, but in no time the Greyhounds roared back to tie things up at 6 all. The teams played even to 13-13 when a pair of Gasparini aces gave the Lady Saints the slight edge at 16-14. It continued to be a nip and tuck battle down the stretch as neither team held more than a two point advantage, but the Lady Saints were able to stay in front 23-22 as they looked to even the match at 1. But, that isn't how things went down as two straight Lady Saint errors allowed Ft. Scott back in front and the Greyhounds finished things off on set point to win 25-23 and take a commanding 2-0 lead in the match.
With their backs to the wall, the Lady Saints came out strong in the third, getting two early kills and a solo block from freshman Angelina Minor to give them a quick 6-1 advantage. But once again, consistency hurt Seward as Ft. Scott got the ball back and the Lady Saints couldn't sideout as the 'Hounds scored five straight points to tie the set up at 6. The roller coaster continued as Seward chalked up seven of the next eight points to grab a 13-7 lead, but back to back errors later on in the set would see Ft. Scott draw back to within two at 19-17. A kill and ace from Silva helped Seward regain their footing and two straight kills from Gasparini finished the set off as the Lady Saints hung on to win 25-20.
The fourth set looked like a polar opposite from the third early on as Ft. Scott jumped out to a 5-1 lead before the Lady Saints came back to even things at 6. Seward scored two more to go up 8-6 and continued to hold the lead through the middle part of the set at 14-11. The teams traded points to 19-16 and the Lady Saints looked like they were in control as they stretched their lead to 21-16 later in the set. A service error hurt Seward's momentum and an attack error swung that momentum to the Greyhounds side. Ft. Scott came all the way back to tie the set at 24 before a Seward timeout and the break wasn't enough to extinguish the fire as the 'Hounds scored the final two points to close the Lady Saints out 26-24 to win the match 3-1.
Once again, nearly all of the Lady Saints offense came from three players in Silva, Gasparini, and Minor, who combined for 38 of Seward's 47 kills in the match. Silva led the way with 16 kills and notched her second straight double-double with 14 digs as well. Gasparini also picked up a double-double with 13 kills and a team high 19 digs. Minor had 9 kills and a block for the Lady Saints. Kristen Anderson dished out 22 assists in the loss while Kari Anderson was second on the team with 17 digs.
Seward falls to 5-1 on the year while NJCAA Division II member Ft. Scott improves to 5-1. The Lady Saints will hit the court again at 8:00 Friday night as they take on a winless NJCAA Division III member in Richland.
SEWARD COUNTY/FORT SCOTT BOX SCORE<http://www.sewardsaints.com/sports/wvball/2014-15/boxscores/20140829_g099.xml>