Liberal, KAN. – After finishing the 2022 season ranked 14th in the NJCAA National Rankings, the Seward County Lady Saints will open the 2023 season ranked at #10 in the Preseason Top 20 in the NJCAA National Rankings as announced by the National Office Monday afternoon.
Seward County was 31-8 a year ago, finishing the season with a 14-2 record in KJCCC action in route to a Region VI championship and an appearance in the NJCAA National Tournament. The Lady Saints appeared in the NJCAA National Rankings all season last year, climbing the ranks to as high as #12 for three straight weeks.
First year head coach Aubrey Wilson will return two players from last year’s roster: First Team All-Conference setter Rafaela DaSilva who recorded the tenth most assists in one season in program history (1,282) in 2022 and middle blocker Clara Duarte who recorded 112 kills during her freshman campaign. They will be joined by two junior college transfers in Dora Filipovic and Winiffer Rodriguez and ten true freshmen.
The preseason poll resembles the final outcomes of the NJCAA National Tournament in 2022 as defending National Champions Florida SouthWestern ranked at #1 with national runner up Miami Dade at #2, Missouri State – West Plains #3, Indian Hills #4, and Salt Lake at #5 to round out the top five. Seward County will be joined in the Top 20 preseason rankings by two other KJCCC teams in Butler at #17 and Hutchinson at #19, putting the Lady Saints higher than any other team in their conference in the National Rankings.
“Lots of success in the past and this ranking speaks to the tradition of Seward County Volleyball. Our goal is to maintain and continue that winning tradition. We are excited for this season, as we return two really good players and bring in several dynamic pieces to blend together, while awaiting two critical pieces to our success” says Coach Wilson.
Seaward County will be tested early on in the McCook Invitational where they will take on #12 Northeastern in their second match on opening day, August 18th after taking on North Platte at 1:00 PM and will follow that with two more games on the 19th when they take on Casper at noon and McCook at 2:00 PM. Fans will get a chance to see their Lady Saints Volleyball team inside of the Green House on August 22nd when #10 Seward County will take on Otero at 6:30 PM.