Seward Moves Into First Place Tie
Brock Kappelmann - October 18, 2016 4:11 pm
With their 20th win of the season Monday night on the road in the sparkling new Dodge City Activities Center and a Colby loss on the road at Butler, the Seward County Lady Saints have erased a one game deficit to the Trojans and now sit in a virtual three way tie atop the Jayhawk West Conference standings with three matches left to go in the regular season.
The Lady Saints got off to a rough start as Dodge jumped out to a 5-1 lead in front of their home crowd, but Seward quickly recovered and took a three point lead to the midway point of the first set at 12-9. The Conquistadors trimmed the Seward lead back to one moments later, but a 6-1 run for the Lady Saints after that gave them some breathing room as they took their largest lead of the set at 19-13. A pair of big kills from Mariana Nascimento late in the period stretched the lead to seven and that was the final margin as Seward finished off a 25-18 win in the first to take a 1-0 lead in the match.
Seward hurt themselves with errors early on in the second and Dodge City took advantage to the tune of a 13-10 lead halfway home. Slowly the Lady Saints crept back in and a 4-0 burst pushed them in front for the first time at 17-15. It was a nip and tuck battle from there as the Conqs tied the score back up at 18 before Seward retook a one point lead on a kill on a dump from Giovanna Kuntze. A kill from Kaysie Paxton followed by an ace from Jazlyn Smith put Seward up three and prompted the Conquistadors to call their final timeout of the set with the score 22-19. Dodge again closed the gap to just one late at 24-23, but the Lady Saints knew where to go to on set point and that was to the reigning Conference Player of the Week Mariana Nascimento who blasted one down the seam to seal a 25-23 win to put the gals in green up 2-0.
The Lady Saints finally got out to a good start in the third and never relented against the Conqs. Seward jumped out to a 10-3 lead to begin the set, getting three kills from Maritza Mesa and three more from Nascimento for the seven point early cushion. They continued to push, eventually taking a double digit lead at 18-8 later in the set before four straight hitting errors allowed the Conqs back into the set at 18-12. The Lady Saints regrouped and eventually pushed their lead back to eight before finishing off Dodge 25-18 to spoil the Conqs sophomore night in a 3-0 Seward County sweep.
The Lady Saints finished the night with 48 kills in the match, their most in any three set match this season. Nascimento continued her red hot streak with 13 kills and just one error to hit .600 in the win while Mesa notched a double-double with 12 kills and 11 digs. Kuntze dished out 28 assists for the Lady Saints while Amanda Pereira had 14 in her one set of action. Seward had seven blocks in the victory, getting four from Nascimento and three each from Mesa and Belissa Guidotti.
The Lady Saints earn their 20th win of the season with the victory while improving their Jayhawk West mark to a shiny 11-2. The Seward win coupled with a Butler upset of Colby Monday night springs the Lady Saints back into the top spot in the conference standings where they are tied with Colby and ½ game up on Hutchinson with three matches left to go in the regular season.
Seward returns home Wednesday night where they will begin a three game homestand to wrap the regular season. The Lady Saints will take on the Cloud County Thunderbirds Wednesday at 6:30 in the Greenhouse on Kids Inc. Night.
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