The Lady Saints continued to build momentum with a solid performance over Barton County Wednesday in the final regular season home match of the season.
The Lady Saints dominated the first two games of the match, winning 25-17, 25-16.
By EARL WATT
• Daily Leader
But the Lady Saints had to rally from a 20-25 deficit, facing game point four times before forcing extra points and finally getting the
Seward fell behind early in the third match and played-catch-up the rest of the way.
All indications were that there would be a fourth game, but sophomore Chelsea Myers said the team made the decision to end it in three.
“We picked up our intensity,” Myers said. “We were not as excited as the earlier games. We made the decision we weren’t going to four games.”
Seward took a time-out and discussed the open middle floor for Barton that Seward had used earlier to score.
Once they went back to the money shot, the soft floater to the middle, the four-point advantage disappeared.
“Once got a couple points, they got tentative, trying not to make mistakes,” Seward coach Bert Luallen said. By going out there and getting some points turned the momentum around.”
The win, coupled with the regular season finale on the road at Dodge City Saturday, should help the Lady Saints build momentum heading in to the Region 6 tournament next Tuesday.
The second-place Lady Saints are already preparing for the post- season play-in game and a possible shot to knock off Jayhawk West champion Hutchinson, the only team in the conference that Seward has yet to defeat.
“We have to have confidence,” Myers said. “We have the talent and the skill.”
An added benefit is the chemistry that has formed for the Lady Saints, and it was apparent on Sophomore Night.
“We’re really close and it’s really fun,” Myers said. “It’s a special time for all of us.”
Luallen has appreciated the leadership he has received from his sophomores, but he has also seen the team come together from both classes.
“They just really bought in to what we try to do,” he said. “They work really hard. This team has come together and stayed positive throughout.”
Seward has developed a strong bench to support the starting six, and the players know their roles on the team, an added benefit for a team poised to make a post-season run.
“I have all the faith in the world in these kids,” Luallen said.
Regular starter Taryn Westerman was ill Wednesday, but sophomore Ami Wang filled the slot. “Ami stepped in and did a really good job for us,” Luallen said.
Seward might have rolled over after playing a murderous part of the schedule that pitted the Lady Saints against the top-rated teams in the nation for two consecutive weekends, and the Lady Saints were competitive but could not chalk up a win.
“We played tough competition, and they fought through it,” Luallen said. “Those tough matches, we didn’t get blown out. They know how close we are to being a really competitive team. As close as we were to (No. 10) West Plains, we were right there. We took (No. 11) Frank Phillips to five games twice. We’re not that far from being a top 10 team.”