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No. 3 Seward heads to playoffs with momentum, conference title PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 31 October 2017 10:51

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Mariana Nascimento gets off the floor in the middle for a kill Saturday in the Greenhouse against Hutchinson. The Lady Saints won the match in four sets. L&T photo/Earl Watt

By EARL WATT

• Leader & Times

With a perfect record in the Jayhawk West Conference on the line and hosting the second-place rival Hutchinson Blue Dragons on Sophomore Night, the Lady Saints played like the champions they have become, knocking off the Blue Dragons in four sets (25-23, 27-25, 20-25, 25-22) to claim their second consecutive Jayhawk League championship and their first sweep of the Jayhawk West since 2000 when there were only eight matches.

Seward didn’t run away with the victory, battling from behind in the first two sets before winning them late.

Hutchinson jumped out to a lead in the third set, and the Lady Saints couldn’t recover.

But in the fourth set, the Lady Saints took the lead and never gave it up, and while Hutchinson may have narrowed the gap late, the crowd inside the Greenhouse could anticipate the win and rose to its feet to cheer the Lady Saints on to victory.

When the final point was scored by Giovanna Tapigliani on a kill, the Greenhouse erupted, and after shaking hands with the second-place Blue Dragons, the celebration began for the Lady Saints.

Even with the win, Seward coach Thais Baziquetto-Allen believed her team could have played better.

“We made some hitting errors at crucial times,” she said. “That kept the games close. We are going too far from our ace-to-error ratio.”

Hutchinson disrupted the Lady Saints in the middle, and that forced Seward to make changes.

“Their middles started to get into the game and we had to adjust,” Baziquetto-Allen said. “We got blocked and found out we couldn’t just swing down.”

But once the adjustment was made, the Lady Saints started to roll behind the support of a large crowd that included a number of athletes from other sports.

“Hutch is not just a rivalry in volleyball, it is every sport,” Baziquetto-Allen said. “We had tons of people from the community, the baseball players were close to us — it was fun to get their energy. They were the seventh player on the court.”

Seward will now be the host site for the Jayhawk West tournament, keeping home court advantage. With a strong conference, that could be key.

The No. 3 Lady Saints finished the regular season 16-0 in the Jayhawk West, 31-1 overall, and will host Pratt (7-29) in a Halloween special in the first round of the Region VI tournament at 6:30 tonight.

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Lady Saint sophomores from left, Erica Ferreira, Mariana Nascimento, Giovana Kuntze, Briana Domino, and Viviane Viana are recognized prior to Saturday’s match against Hutchinson. The Lady Saints knocked off the Lady Blue Dragons in four sets for a perfect 16-0 conference record and back-to-back Jayhawk West Conference titles.


 

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The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association and the Associated Press.

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