Seward Volleyball Dominates Jayhawk West Awards

Brock Kappelmann - November 9, 2017 6:05 am

LIBERAL, Kan. – After going undefeated in the Jayhawk West and leading virtually every statistical category, the Seward County volleyball team ran away with the 2017 KJCCC Conference Awards. Six Lady Saints were named All-Conference, while Head Coach Thais Baziquetto-Allen was named Coach of the Year for the second consecutive year.

Leading the way for the Lady Saints was sophomore setter Giovanna Kuntze. Not only was Kuntze named 1st Team All-Conference, but she was also named Most Valuable Player. Kuntze was absolutely dominate throughout the year, putting her teammates in the right spot night in and night out. The ended the season ranked 3rd in the nation in assists per set with 10.80 and 4th in the nation in total assists with 1,242.

Joining Kuntze on the 1st Team All-Conference list was freshman Right Side Giovanna Tapigliani. Tapigliani was also named Freshman of the Year for the conference after she finished 2nd in the Jayhawk West in kills (435) and kills per set (3.57). She also ranked third in hitting percentage (.339) and fourth in assists per set (0.43).

The final Lady Saint to be named 1st Team All-Conference was sophomore Middle Hitter Mariana Nascimento. Nascimento had one of the best seasons in Lady Saints history when it came to efficiency, finishing with a .449 hitting percentage, which ranks 2nd all-time in single season Seward County history. She also finished fourth in the KJCC in kills (345) and fifth in kills per set (2.90).

Viviane Viana was awarded 2nd Team All-Conference for her efforts this year. Viana came back following a medical redshirt season. She finished fourth in the conference in kills per set with 2.95. She had 12 double-doubles on the season, including her monster 26 kill, 27 dig performance in the season opener.

Freshman Luz Sierra rounds out the 2nd Team winners. The 6-foot-6 middle hitter ranked 5th in the country in blocks per set (1.48). She finished with at least five blocks in 18 of the matches, and had a career-high 14 blocks against Tyler Junior College.

Finding her way on the Honorable Mention list was sophomore outside hitter Briana Domino. Domino finished the year ranking second on the team in digs per set (3.13) and had double-digit digs in 17 matches. In the conference opener against Barton, she came away with a career-high 24 digs. She also finished with four double-doubles on the season.

Leading the Lady Saints to an undefeated conference season and a program record No. 3 ranking in the country was Head Coach Thais Baziquetto-Allen. The 16 conference wins is a Seward County record. The team also finished the regular season record with only one blemish to their record, a two-point, five-set match against Salt Lake. This is Baziquetto-Allen’s second straight Coach of the Year award in only her third year as head coach. Over the past two seasons, she has led the Lady Saints to a combined 60-13 overall record and 30-2 Jayhawk West record.

The six all-conference selections for the Lady Saints is the most in program history, topping the five selections most recently made a season ago. The six were also the most among any team, followed by Hutchinson who had five.

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Ian Applegate


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