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Seward Stumbles in Final Day at Vernon

KSCB News - September 2, 2014 6:17 am

Looking to regain their momentum after bouncing back from their first loss of the season on Friday, the Seward County Lady Saints stumbled once again on Saturday, losing a pair of matches in the Vernon Labor Day Classic to Frank Phillips and Paris.

In their first match of the day on Saturday, the Lady Saints took on a struggling Frank Phillips squad. However, it was the Lady Plainsmen getting the early jump on the scoreboard as they used back to back Seward hitting errors to take a 6-4 lead. The Lady Saints continued to give points away and Frank Phillips lead grew to 12-8 later on and then all the way to 18-11 after two straight reception errors by Seward. The gals in green climbed back to 19-14 when Thaya Silva put the team on her shoulders, scoring four of the next five points for the Lady Saints to draw them back even at 19-19. The score remained deadlocked late at 23 when an ace from Alex Wood gave Seward set point. With a chance to close however, the Lady Saints recorded their 12th error of the set and allowed Frank Phillips to tie the score at 24. That was the momentum the Lady Plainsmen needed as they scored the final two points to close out Seward and take the first set 26-24.

Errors continued to haunt Seward in the second set and it allowed Frank Phillips to get out to another comfortable early lead at 10-5. A pair of kills from Carolina Freitas got Seward back to within three, but after sideout and two straight hitting errors, Frank Phillips had their largest lead of the set at 15-9. Slowly the Lady Saints worked themselves back into the set and a kill on an overpass from Kristen Anderson got the Lady Saints even at 19. Frank Phillips scored three of the next four points to take a 22-20 lead when Freitas struck once again with back to back kills to tie the score at 22. A reception error by the Lady Plainsmen gave Seward a one point lead, but they gave it right back on the next serve with a service error to make it a 23-23 contest. Once again it was Frank Phillips who was just a little bit stronger at the end as the Lady Plainsmen scored the final two points with the set in the balance to win 25-23 and take a 2-0 lead.

Seward got off to a much better start in the third, getting two early kills from Taryn Bedore and two more from Carolina Gasparini to stake them out to an 8-3 lead. After Frank Phillips climbed back into the set, the Lady Saints once again went to Freitas who banged down a pair of kills to put them back up 11-7. Seward couldn’t keep the momentum though and the Lady Plainsmen got back to within one at 14-13 before a service error halted their run and put momentum on the Lady Saints side. Seward took advantage this time, scoring nine of the next ten points, including four straight kills from Gasparini and Freitas to take a commanding 23-14 lead. To close things out, the Lady Saints went back to well that had given them success all match, and that was in the middle with Freitas who picked up two more kills to finish out the set and keep Seward alive with a 25-17 third set win.

The Lady Saints couldn’t keep things rolling into the fourth where Frank Phillips again jumped out to a big lead at 7-3. Despite three mid-set kills from Silva, the Lady Plainsmen continued to keep Seward at bey with the score 12-9. It seemed like every time the Lady Saints got close, the Lady Plainsmen opened things back up and even with Megan Sharratt trading blows with Frank Phillips in the middle, Seward couldn’t close the gap. The Lady Saints were down 17-14 with a chance to cut it to a two point game, but a hitting error followed by back to back overpasses killed the rally and Frank Phillips went on to score eight of the final nine points of the set to blow Seward away 25-15 and win the match 3-1.

Freitas was one of the lone bright spots for Seward in the loss, blowing away her old career high of 7 kills with 18 in this one against Frank Phillips. She sophomore also led the Lady Saints with 4 blocks in the defeat. Gasparini was the only other Seward player to reach double digits in kills as she notched 10 to go along with 10 digs while Silva and Sharratt each her 9 kills in the loss. Nacole Miller led Seward with 25 assists while Bedore added 22 and Angelina Minor picked up an early career high with 17 digs.


In their final match of the weekend the Lady Saints took on another Lone Star foe in Paris. Things were looking good for Seward early on in the first as they bolted out to a 10-4 lead thanks in large part to a rash of early errors by the Dragons. Just as quick as the Lady Saints had built the lead though, that lead had dwindled to one at 12-11 after three straight Seward errors of their own. As Paris attempted to tie the score up, a big block from Bedore and Freitas got Seward rolling again and the Lady Saints got an ace from Silva and a kill from Anderson later in the set to go back up 20-15. That was the momentum the Lady Saints needed and a late kill followed by an ace from Sharratt sealed the deal as Seward took the first set 25-16.

It was Paris however who jumped out to the lead in the second and Seward played catchup the rest of the way. The Dragons led 7-4 early and extended their lead to 13-7 midway through on three straight Lady Saint reception errors. Seward showed signs of trying to get back into things, but it was never sustained as two attack errors and a ball handling error later in the set put Paris up 10 and the Dragons went on to win the second set by that margin 25-15.

Seward scored the first three point in the third set and led 6-3 later on, but again the error bug continued to bite them. The Lady Saints were called in the net as they attempted to block and two straight hitting errors allowed Paris to draw even at 6. With the score tied at 9 later on, Paris hammered away at Seward, getting four straight kills to go up 13-9 and the Lady Saints never recovered from the run. The Dragons continued to stretch their lead late in the set and Seward was able to register just one kill in the final 11 points of the match as Paris blew things open and won 25-15 to go on top 2-1.

Neither side was able to get their footing in the fourth set as Seward looked to fight off elimination and Paris looked to close. The two were tied at 7 after 14 points and Seward held a slight one point advantage at 10-9 after a kill from Gasparini. That’s when the Lady Saints kicked it into high gear, scoring seven of the next eight points on kills from Miller, Minor, Silva, and Freitas to take what looked like a commanding 17-10 lead in the set. But just when it looked like the Lady Saints were poised to send things to a fifth and deciding set, they got in their own way once again. After Paris had cut the Seward lead to 19-14, the Lady Saints had back to back attack errors and then three straight reception errors following that to allow the Dragons to tie the score at 19. The teams went back and forth to 23-23 when Paris was called in the net to give Seward set point at 24-23. The Lady Saints couldn’t capitalize on the opportunity and the Dragons sided out to tie the score at 24 and Seward was unable to do the same on their next two chances as Paris tallied the final two points of the set to stun the Lady Saints 26-24 and take the match 3-1.

The final stat sheet wasn’t pretty for Seward who ended the match with 41 total errors including a season high 20 hitting errors in the loss. Silva was the only Seward player to reach double figures in kills as she finished with 11, while Gasparini and Sharratt each had 8. Miller led Seward with 19 assists while Kelci Bedingfield had a team high 13 digs in front of her home crowd.


It is back to the drawing board for Seward after the 1-3 weekend drops them back to 6-3 overall on the 2014 season. Next up for the Lady Saints is another road test as they travel to Colby on Wednesday for an important early season Jayhawk West matchup with the Lady Trojans.

Roy Allen


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