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Seward Clinches Second with Win at Cloud

KSCB News - October 27, 2015 4:07 pm

It was a quick start and a furious finish for the Seward County Lady Saints Monday night in Concordia, what happened in between the book ends didn’t end up mattering as Seward locked up second place in the Jayhawk West standings with a 3-2 win over Cloud County to improve to 12-3 in conference play on the season.

In a key battle for playoff positioning for the upcoming Region VI Tournament, Seward bolted out to a 4-0 and then 7-2 lead in the first on Cloud County. The Lady Saints continued to hold a sizeable lead through the middle of the set, extending their advantage to eight at 14-6 on an ace from Kimberly Diaz before four straight Seward kills made it a 20-9 contest in favor of the gals in green. All that was left in question was the final score and the Lady Saints made that a pretty one as well, finishing off Cloud 25-11 to go ahead 1-0 in the match. The Lady Saints were on fire in the first offensively, hitting a season high .682 with 16 kills and just one error on 22 attacks. Cloud managed just four kills on 10 total swings.

Seward got off to another hot start in the second as they looked to take control of the match. After Cloud played the Lady Saints to a 5-5 tie early, Seward scored eight straight points to open up a 13-5 lead. The run was exactly what the Lady Saints needed as they continued to hold a sizeable advantage to the late portion of the set before putting the T-Birds away 25-17 to go on top 2-0. Seward wasn’t quite as efficient hitting in the second, managing just a .276 hitting mark, but capitalized on seven Cloud hitting errors as the T-Birds hit just .083 in the period.

The Lady Saints looked like they were well on their way to a sweep in the third as they raced out to another big early lead, grabbing a 9-3 lead out of the gates and holding that six point cushion to 15-9. Just when Seward looked in total control of the contest, Cloud roared back. The T-Birds scored 7 of the next 10 points to crawl back to within two at 18-16 and after a Seward sideout, Cloud rolled off six straight to stun Seward with a 22-19 lead. The Lady Saints never recovered from the fall as Cloud went on to take the set 25-22 and extend the match with Seward in front 2-1.

Cloud came out on fire in the fourth, blasting 11 kills in the first 19 points of the set to take a 13-6 lead at the midway point. The T-Birds kept their distance from the Lady Saints, as Seward failed to get to within closer than six until they cut it to a five point Cloud advantage at 22-17 late in the set. Seward crawled to within four on a T-Bird hitting error to make it 23-19, but the real estate for a comeback just wasn’t there as Cloud used two straight Lady Saint attacks long to seal a 25-19 win and send the match to a deciding fifth set. The fourth was the polar opposite of the first set as this time it was Cloud with 16 kills in the set and Seward with just seven kills and five errors.

Heading to the fifth it didn’t look good for the Lady Saints as Cloud rolled in with all the momentum in the 15 point set. Apparently that didn’t mean much to the gals in green as the Lady Saints shot out of a cannon in the fifth with a pair of blocks and an ace to take an early 4-0 lead. They didn’t stop there, getting two more stuffs and another ace to push their lead to 8-0 at the changeover. Seward eventually went up 11-1 before Cloud made a late push, but like was the case for Seward in the fourth, the real estate ran out for the T-Birds in the fifth as the Lady Saints salted away a 15-9 win to take the match 3-2 in dramatic fashion.

Alex Wood led a Lady Saints hitting attack that swung at a .323 clip on the night. The sophomore outside hitter finished with 16 kills and just two errors while fellow outside Viviane Viana hit .500 on the night with 11 kills and just one error. Megan Sharratt also tallied 11 kills on 19 swings and led Seward with four blocks in the win.

The victory clinches second place in the Jayhawk West standings for Seward County as the Lady Saints improve to 23-14 overall and 12-3 in league play with the win. Cloud now falls into a fight in the middle of the standings at 10-5 where they are tied with Colby and one game in front of Pratt.

Next up for Seward is their 2015 home finale as they host Barton Thursday night in the Greenhouse on Dig Pink Night and Sophomore Night in Liberal at 6:30.

SEWARD COUNTY/CLOUD COUNTY BOX SCORE<http://www.sewardsaints.com/sports/wvball/2015-16/boxscores/20151026_5hzl.xml>

Roy Allen

 

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