Saints Volleyball Loses Home Finale
Brock Kappelmann - October 22, 2023 9:35 am
Liberal, Kansas – Saturday night the Seward County Lady Saints took to the court inside of the Green House for their final home game of the 2023 season, honoring their five sophomores before taking on Cloud County in a thrilling five-set match where the Lady Saints unfortunately fell to the Thunderbirds 3-2.
Seward County started the match with some instant success, putting themselves in front with an early 5-3 lead off an ace from Lisa Gomez and that lead kept growing as a kill at the right pin from Clara Duarte and another ace, this time from Rafaela Da Silva, put the Lady Saints’ lead at 12-7 in the first. Jovana Perovic entered into the first set with some force behind her as she scored her first kill of the afternoon to help Seward County reach the twenty-point mark with a 20-17 lead and seven points later helped seal the deal with another kill to give the Lady Saints a 25-19 win in set one and a 1-0 set lead in the match.
In the second set the Thunderbirds struck first with a quick 4-0 lead over Seward County off of three straight attack errors from the Lady Saints. SCCC did not back down as Marcelina Pyka struck a kill down the middle to put Seward County on the board and another spot-on ace from Da Silva helped spark a 4-0 run of their own to tie the score up at 4-4. From there the Lady Saints were able to grab hold of a two-point advantage that came and went as Cloud County continued to fight back. An absolute hammer of a kill from Lajla Rasljanin helped put the Seward County lead at 10-8 and a few minutes later Jasmyn Kistller connected on a kill from the left pin to push the score to 15-14 before the Thunderbirds roared back in front with a five-point advantage of their own to force a Lady Saint timeout at 21-16. Once again, the Seward County volleyball team took the reins and slowly fought back into the second behind Patricia Mita who ignited the Lady Saints flame after subbing in off the bench with two critical kills to retake the lead 24-23 before Perovic once again locked up the set 25-23 and put Seward County further ahead in the match at 2 sets to 0.
Despite knocking off the T-Birds in the first two sets, the Lady Saints allowed Cloud County to get a glimpse of hope and gather some momentum and that proved to be Seward County’s destruction in the third when the Thunderbirds amassed a 12-8 lead to force the Lady Saints into a timeout. Despite a short comeback thanks to another monster kill by Mita to bring it to within one at 14-13, Cloud County once again went on a run to make their lead a six-point differential at 21-15 before finally wrapping up the third at 25-18 and cut Seward County’s set lead to 2-1.
With all of the momentum now on their side, the Thunderbirds once again grabbed an early lead to start the fourth, stretching it all the way out to six at 8-2 before a service error and another kill down the middle by Rasljanin cut it to four. The pain did not end for the Lady Saints as the Cloud County advantage never wavered throughout the fourth despite a late 6-2 run behind a skip set kill from Da Silva and two more by Mita before the Thunderbirds ended the set with a 25-18 win to tie the score up at 2-2 and force a fifth set.
Set five was winner take all for the Lady Saints and T-Birds and just like the previous two sets it was all Cloud County throughout the set. A kill on the right side by Duarte allowed SCCC to close within five while another score by Pita at the pin kept them within reach, but those were the last kills of the night for the Lady Saints as Cloud County took the final set 15-10 and the match 3 sets to 2.
Mita led the way for Seward County with a career high of 14 kills while Kistller added a double-double of 12 kills and 16 digs. Da Silva dished out 50 total assists with Winiffer Rodriguez leading the team with 21 digs on through all five sets as the Lady Saints now fall to 12-15 on the 2023 season. They will wrap up the regular season on the road over the next seven days as they take on Pratt on Wednesday and Butler on Saturday.