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Lady Saints fall in Region title match PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 07 November 2017 11:48

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Briana Domino sets the ball Sunday in the Region VI championship against Hutchinson. The Lady Saints dropped only their second match of the year and their first to a Region VI opponent to fall one win short of the national tournament. L&T photo/Earl Watt

By EARL WATT

• Leader & Times

Six points.

That’s all that separated the Seward County Lady Saints from their second consecutive appearance at the NJCAA National Tournament.

Last year, the Lady Saints went to Hutchinson and defeated the Lady Blue Dragons in the championship.

This year, the Lady Blue Dragons were able to return the favor in the Greenhouse.

After sweeping through the Jayhawk West with an undefeated 16-0 record and defeating Hutchinson twice during the regular season, the championship match turned out to be an old-fashioned knock-down, drag-out fight for every point, and each play became crucial.

Before the Lady Saints made it to the championship game Sunday, they had to survive a match with Colby, and the tone was set in the first four points when Thais Baziquetto-Allen was given a yellow card by the down official.

Seward was also called for five rotation errors during the match.

Seward won the first set against Colby 25-14, but the Lady Trojans battled back to take the second set 25-20.

The Lady Saints regained control in the third set with a 25-17 win, and with momentum on their side, the Lady Saints cruised to a 25-11 win.

The down judge rotated to the table scorekeeper for the rest of the Region VI Tournament, and not one rotation call was made the rest of the day.

Hutchinson cruised to the championship by dominating Garden City. The Lady Broncbusters qualified for the Region VI Tournament with an upset victory over Butler in the first round, and the 12-22 Lady Broncbusters were hoping for another upset against Hutchinson.

But the Lady Blue Dragons dropped Garden City 25-13, 25-18, 25-15.

Hutchinson jumped out to a quick lead against Seward in the first set, and the Lady Saints had to chase the Lady Blue Dragons.

Seward finally caught back up late in the set and only trailed 24-23, but Hutchinson was able to score the final point to start the championship match with a 25-23 win.

Hutchinson and Seward found themselves in another close battle in the second set, and the Lady Saints were again chasing the Lady Blue Dragons. But the set again came down to the final two points, and Hutchinson again scored the final point to take the second set 26-24.

In the third set, Seward took a lead, and the Lady Blue Dragons had to battle back.

For the third time in the championship, the set came down to the final two points, and Seward had a chance to win with a set-point opportunity, but the Lady Blue Dragons were able to tie, and neither team could pull away until Hutchinson was able to score the final point at 30-28 to take the match and end Seward’s season at 33-2, ranked third in the nation, and still one victory short of the national tournament.

 

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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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