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Saturday’s Jayhawk West Conference match with Barton County was crucial for more than one reason. First, the winner would sit atop the conference at 5-0 with the loser moving to 4-1. Secondly, a win by the Lady Saints would put them at 5-0 with Dodge City left on their first half schedule while Barton County still has to travel to Hutchinson. The importance… a Seward win Saturday and a Hutchinson win over Barton Wednesday would give the Lady Saints a two game lead over the entire Jayhawk West Conference.

In game one Seward would take control early and never look back. Tied early 4-4, Seward jumped out in front first with a kill from Lindsey Miller and then an ace by Diana Castrillon to go up 8-5. Seward stretched the lead to 5 when Kelen Ricardo and Sheina Fernandes combined on a block to push the score to 13-8. The two teams would play even for the next 20 points but the result was a 23-18 lead for the Lady Saints in which they finished off 25-18 after a hitting error by the Cougars. Barton came out ready to go in game two and after Seward scored the game’s first two points to take a 2-0 advantage, the Cougars rolled off 5 points in a row to go u p 5-2. Barton continued to hold the lead but LaKendra Sanders hammered one to the floor to cut the Cougar advantage to 10-8. Three straight Lady Saint points would give them their first lead of the set at 11-10 and midway through the two teams were deadlocked at 14. With the score at 17-15 in favor of Seward, Fernandes would pick up her 3rd kill of the set to put the Lady Saints up 18-15 and from there they would never look back. On game point up 24-19, Sanders would smash a quick set from Maddy Taylor to the floor to give the Lady Saints a 2-0 advantage with the 25-19 win. Other than an early 4-3 lead by Barton Seward looked to be in control of game three as well, taking leads of 11-6 and then 18-14 later on in the set looking to sweep away the Cougars from the Greenhouse. Unfortunately in a game of runs, Barton would fight back and take advantage of a couple of miscues from the Lady Saints to even the game at 22 later on. The two teams would go back and forth down the wire but Barton would force a fourth game after a 28-26 win in game three. The fourth game would look much like the second game did as Barton would hold the early advantage only to see Seward County battle back to tie and then take the lead near the midpoint at 13-11. The Lady Saints would stretch their lead to 5 at 17-12 and then open up even a bigger margin at 22-13 before eventually finishing off their opponents from Great Bend 25-16 to take home the 3-1 win.

Offensively Seward was as usual led by a balanced attack with 4 players recording 12 or more kills on the match. To show even more balance, the Lady Saints two middle’s Sheina Fernandes and LaKendra Sanders combined for 29 kills while Seward’s top two outside hitters Lindsey Miller and Diana Castrillon combined for 28 kills. Taryn Westerman connected on 49% of her set attempts to record 21 assists while Maddy Taylor led the Lady Saints in the assist category with 23. Castrillon led the Lady Saints in both aces (4) and digs (21) while Miller and Amanda Savage cracked the double digit dig mark with 17 and 12 respectively. Six different players combined for 8 total team blocks with Sanders and Fernandes leading the way with 1 solo and 4 total blocks apiece.

The Lady Saints day wasn’t done however as their schedule had them playing another match against Clarendon Saturday night. In a much less anticipated matchup, the Lady Saints took care of business rather easily with all 12 Seward players seeing time in the match. Game one was never much of a contest as Seward won 25-12 while game two was a little bit better but still a rather easy win for the Lady Saints at 25-17. After taking a 9-3 lead early in game three, it looked as if it would be a laugher as well but Clarendon stayed tough to make it the best game of the three at 25-19 at the end of play. Kelen Ricardo, Lindsey Miller, LaKendra Sanders, and Sheina Fernandes all recorded 6 kills in the win while Taryn Westerman and Amanda Savage tied for the team lead in digs with 9.

The win over Barton puts Seward on top of the Jayhawk West all by themselves at 5-0 and their second win on the day ran their overall record to 17-5 on the season. The Lady Saints will wrap up their first half of conference play Wednesday on the road against Dodge City before kicking off the second half of conference play Friday at home against Colby at 6:30.
The Seward County Lady Saints Volleyball team moved to 4-0 in Jayhawk West Conference play Tuesday night in Colby as they picked up their 15th win of the season in a quick 3 set sweep of the Lady Trojans in the Community Building Tuesday night.
Seward jumped on top right off the bat as a couple of blocks and a kill from Kelen Ricardo gave the Lady Saints a 4-1 lead. Colby would show their grit and battle back to take an 8-6 lead of their own early on in the first set after erasing the Seward lead. Colby continued to press the 13th ranked Lady Saints and held onto their 2 point lead at 13-11 midway through but Seward was able to go on a 5-0 run behind nice blocking at the net from Sheina Fernandes to go up 16-13. Seward would go on to win 14 of the game’s final 17 points and eventually win game one 25-16 on a block from Stacie Carver and Diana Castrillon to seal the deal.
LaKendra Sanders came out fired up in game two and pushed Seward out to a 8-4 lead with three straight kills hammered to the floor. After trading the next two points, the Lady Saints put the ball in the hands of Diana Castrillon at the service line and as we have seen before, the Lady Trojans had trouble handling the topspin rocket which led to five straight Seward points and put them up 14-5. Colby wouldn’t get much closer in game two as the Lady Saints finished them off 25-11 behind a kill down the line from Castrillon off the set from Maddy Taylor.
Behind a surprisingly rowdy crowd in the Colby Community Building, the home team showed no quit in game three facing elimination as they took an early 7-6 lead over the Lady Saints. After Seward was able to recapture the lead at 9-8, Colby threw up a strong block at the net baffling the Lady Saint hitters and took a 6 point lead at 15-9. The Lady Trojans were eventually able to go up 18-15 but Seward was ready to get out of town as they put together 5 straight points highlighted by a Taryn Westerman ace to tie the game at 18 and then a combo block from LaKendra Sanders and Diana Castrillon to put them up 20-18 late in game three. A pair of Colby hitting errors would finish game three and give Seward the 25-19 win as they completed the sweep to move to 15-4 on the year.
Diana Castrillon led the Seward offensive attack in the win with 10 kills and 5 aces while LaKendra Sanders notched 7 kills while committing just one error. Maddy Taylor finished the match with a team high 18 assists and Lindsey Miller led the Lady Saints with 11 digs to go along with 3 aces. The Lady Saints had one of their strongest blocking outputs of the year dialing up 14 total rejections led by 7 from reigning Region VI Player of the Week Sheina Fernandes 5 from Castrillon, 4 from Sanders, and 3 solo blocks from Kelen Ricardo.
The Lady Saints now set their sights on a crucial Jayhawk West Conference matchup with Barton County in a matinee affair Saturday afternoon at 2:00 in the Greenhouse. Seward and Barton both enter the match at 4-0 in Jayhawk play with Barton still having to play Hutchinson to wrap up their 1st half of conference play while Seward will travel to Dodge City next Wednesday to wrap up their first half. As a bonus for all volleyball enthusiasts, Clarendon will also join the fun Saturday as they will take on Barton following their match with Seward and then the Lady Saints will take on Clarendon Saturday night at 6:00 to conclude the day’s events. Twitter updates will be available on the Lady Saints homepage throughout the day and live scoring will be updated constantly by going to the schedule portion of the Lady Saints website at scccsaints.com.
For the second time in the first month of the NJCAA volleyball season Seward County middle hitter Sheina Fernandes has been named the Region VI Player of the Week. The freshman from Porto Alegre, Brazil had a solid week for the Lady Saints against some stiff competition. In a three set sweep over former #11 Pratt on Wednesday Fernandes recorded 8 kills on 10 attempts with just one error to dial up a .700 hitting percentage. The freshman stepped up against solid competition at the Pizza Hut Invitational this weekend with her best game coming in a 13 kill 12 block performance against 12th ranked Northeastern on Friday night. She finished the week hitting .341 and averaging over a block per game. Fernandes and the Lady Saints are back home to take on Barton County in a crucial Jayhawk West Conference matchup for both teams Saturday.
The Seward County Lady Saints knew that they were going to have their hands full when they signed up for the 2009 Pizza Hut Invitational in Sterling, Colorado. On the slate for them was the #4, #5, and #12 ranked teams in the country in less than a 24 hour span. While they played well in spurts, they weren’t able to sustain anything long enough to pull off an upset win and they finished the tournament licking their wounds with a 1-3 record.
Seward faced national powerhouse and 4th ranked Western Nebraska in their opener and after falling behind by as much as 5 points early, came back to tie the first game at 15 with a pair of aces from Sheina Fernandes. It was all green and white from there as Seward took 19-17 and 22-19 leads before eventually salting the first game away 25-20. The two teams played even through the first part of game number two and were tied at 9 early on. Western Nebraska took a 17-13 lead midway through but Seward bounced back to take a 20-19 lead of their own late in the match. Up 23-22 looking to take a 2-0 lead on the Cougars, the Lady Saints stumbled to let WNCC win 4 of the game’s final 5 points to win game two 26-24. Game three started much as game two ended with WNCC in control as they took 11-7 and 13-9 leads early. Seward battled back to 13-11 but Western Nebraska pushed the pace to a 22-15 lead and eventually took game three 25-17. With their backs against the wall in game four Seward battled through the first half of the set as the game was tied at 14 halfway home. WNCC had a 1 point lead at 18-17 and would score the matches final 7 points to get the 25-17 fourth set win and the 3-1 match win. In the loss Diana Castrillon had a team high 9 kills and 20 digs while Fernandes and Kelen Ricardo had 7 kills apiece. Lindsey Miller had 6 kills and 15 digs and Amanda Savage recorded another double digit dig match with 12.
In their second match of the day the Lady Saints would square off with #12 Northeastern JC on their home floor in Sterling. A back and forth battle in game one saw Seward take a 19-17 lead after a kill and block from Lindsey Miller on back to back plays. NJC tied the game at 21 but Sheina Fernandes picked up a kill to put the Lady Saints back up 22-21. The Plainswomen rattled off 3 straight points to take a 24-22 lead before Taryn Westerman aced them to tie the game back up at 24. Unfortunately the game wouldn’t end as scripted as Seward committed back to back hitting errors to end the game as NJC came away with the 26-24 win. Although the Lady Saints controlled much of the second game against the home team, NJC picked up a few key blocks late to take 17-16, and 24-22 leads before eventually getting a block to win game two in another nail biter 25-23. Down 2-0 the Lady Saints didn’t give up however and after being tied at 10 early on, took a 17-13 lead and then 21-17 advantage via another Miller kill down the line. On game point, the Brazilian blockade of Kelen Ricardo and Fernandes came up big with a combo block to give Seward the 25-19 win. In game four LaKendra Sanders started off the block party early and gave the Lady Saints a 6-2 lead with a solo block of her own. Diana Castrillon pushed the lead to 10-4 with a kill and then Stacie Carver combined with Fernandes for a block to give the Lady Saints a 14-8 lead. Seward stretched the lead all the way to 20-13 but NJC battled back late as the lead was cut to 23-19 and then to 24-22 before the Lady Saints finished it off 25-22 and forced a 5th and deciding game. The momentum from back to back set wins wouldn’t carry over to game five unfortunately as Seward fell behind 7-3 before they could figure out what was going on. As they regrouped they battled back to 8-6 but the Plainswomen scored the next two points to go back up by 4 at 10-6. The teams would play even through the rest of the set but that would favor NJC as they held on to win the set and the match 15-10. Fernandes had a monster game at the net for Seward chalking up 13 kills and 12 blocks, 6 of which were solo. She was topped in the kills category only by teammate LaKendra Sanders who notched 15 kills in 31 attempts. Lindsey Miller posted a double-double with 12 kills and 15 digs while Diana Castrillon just missed a double-double of her own with 9 kills and 15 digs. Maddy Taylor connected on 26 of 55 set attempts and Amanda Savage had a team high 19 digs. Miller, Castrillon, and Savage combined to receive 76 serves in the match without committing an error.
Seward wouldn’t have much time to dwell on the tough loss to NJC as they would have to turn around and play a 5th ranked Iowa Western club first thing Saturday morning. The Lady Saints looked good early on against the Rievers and took an early 4-1 lead on the back of a solo block from Sheina Fernandes. IWCC cut the lead to 7-6 but Seward opened it back up on consecutive kills from Taryn Westerman and Lindsey Miller to go up 5 at 12-7. They continued to hold a decisive advantage through the middle part of the game leading 17-13 and 19-14 but hit a wall towards the end of the set as Iowa Western got to within one with four straight points at 19-18. The Lady Saints found a second wind and climbed back in front 22-19 before the Rievers tied it up at 22 but Seward eventually retook the lead at 24-22 as they looked to close out the first game with two chances at game point. They couldn’t do it however as Iowa Western score the game’s final 4 points to capture the 26-24 win. Seward would play even with the #5 team in the country through the first part of the second game but a solid run by the Rievers buried the Lady Saints at 17-12 as they would never recover and went on to drop the set 25-17. Iowa Western came out strong in game three and had 13 points on the board to Seward’s one in the blink of an eye. The Lady Saints would never get closer than 20-12 and dropped the set 25-15. In the loss Seward had 5 players with 5 or more kills led by Castrillon, Ricardo, and Fernandes with 6 apiece. Taryn Westerman and Maddy Taylor had 11 assists each while Lindsey Miller and Castrillon combined for 30 digs on the match.
Not to discount the Lady Indians of McCook but Seward knew that their last match of the weekend would undoubtedly be their least challenging. They jumped all over McCook early and saw a 7-3 lead on the scoreboard after a block from Stacie Carver and LaKendra Sanders in game one. The lead stretched to 11-4 and then 16-7 on a pair of aces from libero Amanda Savage as Seward would roll to the game one win 25-14. Game two was almost the same script as Seward kept their feet on the throats of the Lady Indians blowing them out 25-12. Seward emptied the bench in game three as every Lady Saint on the roster got into the game and recorded a tick on the stat sheet as they took game three 25-19 to complete the sweep. LaKendra Sanders had a monster match with 11 kills on 17 attempts to go along with a team high 5 blocks. Adriann D’Amico notched a season high 10 digs while libero Amanda Savage also reached double digits with 13.
After all was said and done the Lady Saints came out of the fire 14-4 on the season with all four losses coming to teams ranked inside the nation’s top 12. They will now travel to Colby Tuesday night to take on the Lady Trojans before coming back home for a triangular Saturday when they will take on fellow Jayhawk West leader Barton County in yet another pivotal conference match at 2:00 before hitting the floor again at 6:00 to take on Clarendon. You will be able to follow tonight’s match against Colby on the Lady Saints twitter section at www.scccsaints.com and possibly live scoring if wireless internet is available in the Colby Community Building at LIVE SCORING
You could say the Beavers of Pratt had the Seward County Lady Saints number. The blue and white ended Seward’s season last year in the Region VI Tournament and gave the Lady Saints their first loss of the 2009 campaign on the opening weekend of the season. Wednesday night in the Greenhouse would be a very different story.
In front of a great crowd, the Lady Saints jumped on Pratt early in a big Jayhawk West Conference matchup. Lindsey Miller dropped in an ace early to give the home team a 3-1 lead and later in the first set Sheina Fernandes elevated for a block to give Seward a 10-5 advantage. Pratt played even with the Lady Saints for the next 10 points and the score was 15-10 Seward when the green and black went on a 6-0 run to take a commanding 21-10 lead before eventually finishing off game one 25-12 with a Miller shot down the line. Seward came out on the offensive in the second game as LaKendra Sanders finished off back to back kills to put the Lady Saints up 9-2 early on. The Beavers weren’t going to let Seward run away with it that easily though as All-American Katerin Trejos sparked Pratt to a mini run to cut the Seward lead to 12-11. The two teams remained close through the middle part of the second game but Seward took a four point advantage late 23-19 compliments of a kill by Fernandes. Pratt pushed the pace and battled back to within one at 24-23 but it wasn’t enough as Diana Castrillon smoked her 6th kill of the night to give the Lady Saints the 25-23 second set win. Game three was again close early as the two Jayhawk West foes traded side-outs and the score was tied at 11 after a Taryn Westerman finish from the right side. Six straight points capped by back to back aces from Miller gave Seward a comfortable 17-11 lead and a Maddy Taylor to Sanders bullet pushed the lead to 22-16 late. The match would end on a Pratt hitting error to give Seward the 25-16 third set win and the match sweep. Due to a directive from the Jayhawk Conference on cutting down the spread of germs at this time, the two teams exchanged an awkward wave rather than the customary handshake post match as they went their separate ways.
In the win Seward was again led by a balanced attack from their hitters. All eight hitters recorded kills, led by Diana Castrillons 9 and Sheina Fernandes’ 8. Maddy Taylor paced the offense with 18 assists while Taryn Westerman recorded 9 to go along with her 4 kills. Amanda Savage had 11 digs on the night while Lindsey Miller notched 10 to go along with her 3 aces. The Lady Saints leading blocker LaKendra Sanders tacked on to her team lead with 4 and Castrillon had 3.
The victory takes the 11th ranked Lady Saints to 13-1 and 3-0 atop the Jayhawk West Conference standings. They will continue a tough stretch of matches this weekend as they take on the #4 Western Nebraska Cougars Friday at 5:00 CST, the #12 Northeastern Lady Plainsmen Friday at 9:00 CST followed by the #5 Iowa Western Reivers Saturday at 12:00 before ending the Pizza Hut Invitational in Sterling, Colorado with McCook CC Saturday at 4:00. You can listen to the Western Nebraska match on the radio by clicking HERE and then clicking on the listen to link game on the top left of the page. For the Western Nebraska match and all others this weekend as always you can check twitter updates on the Lady Saints homepage at www.scccsaints.com or keep track of live scoring HERE.
In today’s NJCAA Top 20 poll, the Seward County Lady Saints have jumped into the thick of things as they are now the 11th ranked team in the country with their 12-1 record. The #11 ranking marks the highest the Lady Saints have been ranked under Head Coach Bert Luallen and the highest program ranking since 2003.
After a hard day of classes and a tough workout at practice, there was nothing more that the Seward County Baseball Team wanted to do than hang out with some of their friends from Big Brothers Big Sisters at the Adventure Bay Water Park. “We looked forward to this all day” said sophomore outfielder Luke Campbell. The team spent a couple hours with the little guys and gals of BBBS at the water park shooting hoops in the pool, flying down the slide, and struggling across the net bridge. The littles and bigs put smiles on each other’s faces back and forth throughout the night with different games and challenges as well as just being together and having fun. “Everyone tells us thank you for doing things like this, but really we enjoy doing it” sophomore catcher Todd Glime said. “We get to come out and give them happy memories here, build relationships with them and then watch them grow during out time here which gives us happy memories of Seward County. Anything we can do to give back a little bit of the kindness and support that this community gives to us, we will gladly do” he said. Head Coach Galen McSpadden said of the event, “when you can see how much fun these kids are having, both the littles and the bigs, you can see why we team up with BBBS so often. It is a win/win situation as the littles benefit from having these guys as role models and our players benefit by growing up as young men when they see how lucky they really have it.” Coach McSpadden and his Saints will continue their fall workouts/season through October and open up their spring schedule February 13th at home against Northeastern.
*Click on the picture at the top of THIS PAGE for some pictures of the day
We won’t get into the specifics on how long it’s been since the Seward County Lady Saints Volleyball Team has beaten the Lady Dragons of Hutchinson but the 2009 Lady Saints decided it had been long enough! In an epic battle between two of the conferences perennial powers Saturday afternoon in Hutchinson, Seward County prevailed in a 5th and deciding set, chalking up their 5th win over a top 25 team this season.
Both teams looked visibly nervous early on in the first game as serves were traded out of bound and into the net for what it seemed like the first 10 points. The teams then found their groove and put on the show that all in attendance expected to see. Down 17-14 halfway through the first game, Diana Castrillon and LaKendra Sanders combined for a block to cut the Hutch lead to 2 and the two teams traded points for the next three as Seward found themselves down 20-18 and then 22-20. Backed by a strong home crowd as usual, the 13th ranked Lady Dragons closed out the Lady Saints on three straight points to finish off the first set 25-20. In game two the Lady Saints again opened up timid and poor passing dug themselves a 6-2 hole. Taryn Westerman then served three straight points for Seward finished off with an ace to cut the lead to 6-5 Hutch. The teams traded the next two rally’s which sent Castrillon back to the service line, which was exactly not what Hutch wanted to see. The Lady Saint sophomore pounded serve after serve into the Dragon defense, to which they had no answer. She recorded 5 straight points for Seward including 3 aces to put the score at 13-8 in favor of the good gals. Castrillon’s mastery of the Dragons didn’t stop at the service line however as later in the set Maddy Taylor hooked up with her for a rocket shot down the line to give them a 19-14 lead. An Amanda Savage dig led to a Westerman kill to give Seward a 22-17 advantage and the game was finished off by a Hutch hitting error to give the gals in green the 25-19 win and tie up the games at one a piece.
In a pivotal third game the two teams went back and forth early as the Lady Saints took a 4-3 lead. At the top of their game, the two teams had a classic rally including over 20 touches midway through the second set which ended up with a point for Hutch but Seward still retained the lead at 12-10. The lead stayed at two for the Lady Saints at 18-16 but a pair of quick Hutch points knotted the contest at 18. The green and black would take the lead right back and go onto score 5 straight points to grab the 23-18 lead and then finished off the set shortly after with the score of 25-19 to take the 2-1 lead going to the 4th set. Seward fell behind early in the 4th game and was never able to rebound as a 6-2 deficit would quickly turn into 14-8 and before they knew it 23-16 as Hutch clearly dominated the net in game four. The match was sent to a 5th and deciding game as the 4th game ended as quick as it started with the Lady Saints losing 25-17.
The scene was far to eerily familiar for five returning Lady Saints from last year’s Seward team as in the Region VI Tournament semifinals last season Seward lost game one to the Dragons before coming back to win the 2nd and 3rd and dropped the 4th before eventually falling in the 5th set to the then 15th ranked Hutch squad. This time Seward was not going to let that happen.
Taryn Westerman and Sheina Fernandes combined on a rare block for Seward early in the 5th game to help them out to a quick 2-1 lead. The blue and red and green and black went back and forth for the next few points as Lindsey Miller launched a shot down the line to tie the game at 7 midway through. The Lady Saints won the next two points to go up 9-7 and took 4 of the next 5 and looked to have the match wrapped up as they led 12-8 in a game to 15. Hutch wasn’t going to let it happen that easily on their home court in the Sports Arena however as they rallied for three straight points to cut the lead to 12-11. Seward served for the match at 14-13 but Hutch was able to come away with the point as well as the next one as they served up 15-14 looking to close out the Lady Saints. Seward County managed a side out and picked up the next tally to go up 16-15 but the Dragons gained their own side out to tie the match back up at 16. The Lady Saints broke Hutchinson’s serve to go up a point at 17-16 and fittingly sent Diana Castrillon back to close out the game from the end line as her devastating serve led to an off pass which culminated in a hitting error to give Seward an 18-16 set win and a 3-2 match win.
In the match Castrillon shined, leading Seward County in three different categories with 14 kills, 7 aces, and 3 blocks while also chipping in with a not too shabby 17 digs. Lindsey Miller turned in one of her classic double-doubles as she notched 12 kills opposed to just 3 errors as well as recording 13 digs. LaKendra Sanders finished off 10 kills on the afternoon as well as picking up a pair of blocks and Brazilian hitters Sheina Fernandes and Kelen Ricardo added 6 kills apiece. Taryn Westerman led Seward County with 21 assists while Maddy Taylor had 19 playing through a sickness and Amanda Savage had a huge game defensively for the Lady Saints with a career high 29 digs.
The win pushes Seward to 12-1 overall and 2-0 in the Jayhawk West Conference. Their road will not get any easier however as they square off with #11 Pratt, the only team to have beaten the Lady Saints this season, Wednesday at home, before going on the road to take on #4 Western Nebraska, #14 Northeastern JC, and #6 Iowa Western in the Pizza Hut Invitational in Sterling, Colorado. Come out and support your Lady Saints Wednesday night at 6:30 in the Greenhouse in a crucial Jayhawk West matchup against #11 Pratt and pick up your signed poster of Seward sophomore Diana Castrillon. If you’re not able to make it into the green seats Wednesday, follow the Lady Saints on twitter at www.scccsaints.com
or keep track of point by point updates HERE!
The Saints Booster Club has kicked off its 4th Annual Brisket Sale sponsored by National Beef and Billy’s BBQ. Four pound smoked briskets will be sold now through October 23rd for $35 each from any Saints or Lady Saints Coach, with all proceeds going to the Saints Booster Club. The Saints Booster Club helps fund all seven Seward County sports with scholarships, recruiting, athletic equipment and more. After you order your brisket, you will be able to pick it up on Tuesday, October 27th inside the dock of the Greenhouse between 5:00 and 6:30 p.m. before Basketball Preview Night. For more information contact Brandie in the Athletic Office at 417-1551.
Much as they did last season, the Seward County Lady Saints Volleyball Team opened up their conference schedule against Garden City. And much as they did last season, they quickly disposed of the Busters in straight sets to move to 11-1 on the season. Seward got off to somewhat of a slow start in the match falling behind 5-1 on some less than optimal passing but bounced back thanks in part to Diana Castrillon’s serving mastery to take a 13-9 lead. The Seward sophomore dished up 4 straight aces and 7 straight points to give the home team an advantage they wouldn’t lose for the rest of the night. When she wasn’t on the serving line chalking up points for the green and white, Castrillon was at the net where she recorded 11 kills on the night. Seward clinched game one 25-16 and after a lengthy stay for Lindsey Miller with the ball in her hand serving and a pair of Stacie Carver blocks, the Lady Saints led 13-1 early in game number two. The two teams would trade points the rest of the way but Seward’s sizeable lead allowed for that as they cruised home with a 25-12 win. A trio of Kelen Ricardo kills early in the third game pushed Seward County out to an 8-3 lead and as Castrillon stepped back to serve, Garden City leaned back on their heels as her rocket serve propelled Seward to 6 straight points to give them an insurmountable 13-4 lead. As the Lady Saints emptied their bench Garden would get within breathing room at 19-12 but would get no closer as the match fittingly ended on yet another Castrillon ace at 25-14.
In the victory Castrillon ended up with 8 aces to go along with her 11 kills while Ricardo finished with 7 kills, 5 digs, and a pair of blocks on the evening. Lindsey Miller and Amanda Savage again headed the Lady Saints defensive attack as Miller ended with 12 digs and Savage 9. Stacie Carver drew the start in the middle for Seward and responded well with a team high 4 blocks on the night. Maddy Taylor and Taryn Westerman continued to play well at the setter position dishing out 19 and 6 assists respectively.
The win moves Seward County to 11-1 overall on the season going into Saturday’s big Jayhawk West Conference matchup with Hutchinson in the Sports Arena. The Blue Dragons were ranked 13th in the latest NJCAA poll but despite a hot start and 4 wins over top 25 opponents Seward is nowhere to be found. They will have a chance to make some noise in the next 7 days however as after their date with #13 Hutchinson they will return home to face #11 Pratt for the second time this year. If you aren’t able to make it to the Sports Arena for Saturday’s matinee you can follow the Lady Saints on Twitter with in-game updates or by CLICKING HERE to keep up with real time scoring from Hutch.
During the first week of NJCAA regular season play, Seward County freshman middle hitter Sheina Fernandes was named the NJCAA Region VI Player of the Week for her solid contributions to the Lady Saints during their Lamar Invitational Championship. Fernandes led the team with 44 kills while hitting .349 on the weekend while also posting 15 blocks, 17 digs, and 9 aces. The Brazilian star put together a 6 block match against Laramie County in a Friday win followed by an 11 kill match against the Golden Eagles the next morning. She then finished the tournament with a 10 kill 3 block performance against 18th ranked Pratt in Seward’s heartbreaking loss to the Beavers.
This week a different Lady Saints middle hitter was named the NJCAA Region VI Player of the Week as LaKendra Sanders dominated the competition at the Redlands Classic this weekend to help Seward County to the crown. Sanders went off Friday against a pair of top 25 teams from the Lonestar State as she started with a 14 kill match against 22nd ranked Tyler and immediately followed that with a 12 kill 9 block outing against 23rd ranked Hill College, both culminating in Seward County wins. She finished the tournament as strong as she started it by putting up 7 kills without committing an error against Jayhawk East opponent Independence in the Lady Saints final game of the tournament.
Fernandes and Sanders will next see action tomorrow night in their 2009 home opener against Garden City to open up Jayhawk West Conference play at 6:30.
A week after they took home the Lamar Invitational Tournament Title, the Seward County Lady Saints Volleyball Team brought home some more hardware as champions of the Redlands Cougar Classic Tournament.
After knocking off two top 25 teams on the first day of the classic, Seward had an early morning date with the other undefeated team still left in Paris Junior College on Saturday. Seward quickly jumped ahead of the Lady Dragons to the tune of a 5-0 lead but Paris fought back to within 2 at 11-9 midway through the 1st game. LaKendra Sanders 3rd kill of the 1st set put the Lady Saints up 12-9 and spurred a run that culminated in a pair of blocks to break Seward out to an 18-12 lead. Paris again tried to make a game of it but it was too little too late as the Lady Saints came away with the 25-18 first set win. In the second game Seward again came out of the gates strong and took an early 10-5 advantage thanks to a trio of aces from reigning All-American Diana Castrillon. Later in the set Sheina Fernandes wasn’t to be outdone as she ran off three aces of her own to help the green and black stake to a 22-12 lead. The Dragons of Paris battled back again late much as they did in the first set but it was again not enough as Lindsey Miller finished off the second set with authority with her 3rd kill of the game to help Seward win 25-17. Trailing 9-6 in the 3rd set as they tried to finish off the sweep, Taryn Westerman stepped to the service line and rattled off 6 straight points for Seward to put them back on top 12-9. Leading by just one late at 18-17, Castrillon pulled out some more of her late game heroics with a big kill to give the Lady Saints a 19-17 lead that they would never relinquish. A quick set from Maddy Taylor to Fernandes on match point was all Seward would need as the Lady Saints Brazilian middle hitter pounded the ball to the floor to give them a 25-20 win to close out Paris. In the win Fernandes led the Lady Saints in kills with 10 while Castrillon collected 8. Stacie Carver had the best game of her young Lady Saint career with 5 kills and Kelen Ricardo was her usual solid self with 4. Miller paced Seward with 14 digs while Amanda Savage recorded 25 successful passes to accompany her 11 digs. With the win Seward was already assured of the tournament title but they still had work to do with instate foe Independence the only thing standing between them and an undefeated record on the weekend.
Saturday’s late match against an overmatched Independence team was good chance for Head Coach Bert Luallen to get some of his normal starters a little bit of rest and get some players who hadn’t seen the court a lot this season into a couple games. However, Indy didn’t get the message that they were supposed to roll over as they took advantage of sloppy Seward play early to take a nice 9-5 lead. Lindsey Miller dropped an ace in on the unsuspecting Pirates to bring the first set to within one at 12-11 and the Lady Saints would later go on a run capped by an unusual Katie Thomas to Miller set up to put the Lady Saints up by 4 at 21-17. Stacie Carver making the most of her start in the middle of Seward’s attack picked up a solo block on game point to chalk up the game one win for the Lady Saints 25-19. The Seward comeback in game one seemed to have taken the wind of the Pirates sails in the second game as they put up much less of a fight in a 25-10 Lady Saints win. Every Lady Saint active for the match saw time in the third game as Seward again relatively easily pushed 25 on Indy taking the third game 25-16 to complete the sweep and win the match. In the match Diana Castrillon led the Lady Saints with 11 kills while Miller was second on the team with 8 to go along with her 12 digs. LaKendra Sanders and Kelen Ricardo combined for 13 kills without an error between them and the Seward setters hooked up on 27 of 60 attempts in the three games. Amanda Savage was in her usual double digits in the digs column with 13 and Taryn Westerman chalked up a season high 4 aces in the win. The victory pushes the Lady Saints to an impressive 10-1 start heading into conference play Wednesday at home against Garden City at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday night will be the first of six Lady Saint poster nights, each of which will highlight a Lady Saint sophomore playing in her last season in the green and white. This Wednesday Taryn Westerman will be the featured Lady Saint, so make sure to pick up your autographed game night poster of Taryn before the match at either of the Greenhouse entrances.
For those of you that won’t be able to attend the match but would like to keep track of your Lady Saints, log onto the Seward County Saints and Lady Saints athletics site at www.scccsaints.com to follow twitter updates or CLICK HERE to follow live score updates throughout the night.
When the NJCAA Top 25 Poll came out three weeks ago the Seward County Lady Saints searched and searched but didn't find their name anywhere. What they did find was a number of teams on their early season scheduled that the experts picked to have big seasons. Seward proved Friday that the experts might just want to take a peak their way before writing off the Green and White in the next poll to come out.
A pair of Texan's helped the Lady Saints knock off two top 25 foes from the Lonestar State as LaKendra Sanders and Lindsey Miller combined for 43 kills and 14 blocks on the day. In their first match of the day Seward matched up with a very athletic Tyler JC team who was ranked 22nd in the country coming in to this weekend’s Redlands Cougar Classic. The Lady Saints wasted no time in promptly pounding the Apaches into the ground early in game one winning 25-9 and shocking the crowd in El Reno. In game two it didn't get a whole lot better for Tyler as Seward put it to them again with a 25-14 victory. Looking for the sweep in game three Seward had the clamps put on their offense late as Tyler battled back to win the third set 25-23 and force another set. Seward looked refocused in the 4th set bolting out to a lead and running away with it late to win 25-14 to secure the match win. In the contest Sanders hammered 14 balls to the floor while Miller finished second on the team with 10 kills. Diana Castrillon had 9 kills on 21 attacks to go along with her 7 aces and Sheina Fernandes finished off 7 on 13 tries to compliment her 3 aces. Maddy Taylor and Taryn Westerman did a nice job of putting the ball on the spot of their hitters from the setter position, connecting for 33 assists on 73 attempts. Amanda Savage led the team in digs for the 3rd straight game with 12 while Castrillon was right on her heels with 11.
In the nightcap of the Lady Saints big day they were opposed by 23rd ranked Hill College. After trading points early in the first set Seward took an advantage midway through and never looked back, eventually winning 25-18. Hill put up a fight in game number two but the Lady Saints were again able to come out ahead with a couple of key late blocks to take it home 25-21. Seward nearly had more hitting errors than kills in the 3rd set and luckily still had a shot to sweep late but fell 25-20 to set up a 4th set in the match. They wouldn’t let this one get close as they blew the Lady Rebs out early and never allowed them to catch up winning 25-14 to complete their 2 match sweep for the day. Sanders again led the Lady Saints offensive attack with 12 kills to go along with a career high 9 blocks. Miller, Castrillon, and Fernandes all put up a touchdown and an extra point in the kills category with 7, mostly in part to 21 assists from Maddy Taylor. Savage, Castrillon, and Miller all recorded double digit digs in the match as the Lady Saints libero led with 15 while Castrillon had 13 and Miller 10. While there were some positives, Head Coach Bert Luallen was a little bit worried about his team’s .078 hitting percentage through the first three sets as well as 39 errors to give Hill exactly half of their points in the match. The wins moved Seward to 8-1 on the season and gave them their first back to back wins against ranked opponents in recent memory.
Seward County traveled to Clarendon Wednesday night in a match that would be hard for anyone to get too excited about. After all, the Lady Saints demolished the Bulldogs last weekend at the Lamar Invitational Tournament to open up the season and the three hour bus ride wasn’t overly appealing. But, the Lady Saints did what they needed to do, taking care of business in a swift 45 minute match, winning 25-8, 25-13, and 25-12 to move to 6-1 on the season.
Seward dominated the first set building leads of 13-4 and 22-5 before eventually taking it 25-8 but the second set wasn’t such a breeze for Coach Bert Luallen and company. The two squads jostled back and forth for the first half of the set with Seward’s only lead in coming at 1-0. Tied at 13 Sheina Fernandes took the ball to serve and put her heel on the necks of the Bulldogs serving 12 straight points for the Lady Saints including 5 aces to give the gals in green the 25-13 win. Fernandes was so dominate in the 2nd set for Seward County that she single handedly scored 10 of the 25 points to give them the win. The somewhat close game number two seemed to have woken up Seward and they breezed to the match win in the third set by taking 9-1, 14-3, and 19-8 leads before closing it out at 25-12 with a kill by Stacie Carver.
In the win every Lady Saint saw time on the court including 10 of 12 recording at least one kill. Both setters, Maddy Taylor and Taryn Westerman connected on 14 of 23 set attempts on the night as the team hit .424 in the affair. Lindsey Miller had a team high 6 kills to go along with 7 digs while Fernandes put up 5 kills to go along with 5 aces as well. Westerman had her best game of the early season as she notched 4 kills and 4 aces to compliment her 14 assists and LaKendra Sanders led the Lady Saints block party with 5 of her own in the win. Kelen Ricardo had 3 kills 3 blocks, and 7 digs in the victory while Amanda Savage had her usual solid game on the back row with a team high 17 digs on the night.
Seward, now 6-1 will head to El Reno this weekend with four matches on tap. Friday they will take on two top 25 foes in Hill College and Tyler JC at 1:00 and 7:00 and will wrap up the weekend with Paris JC and Independence CC on Saturday. Wireless internet permitting, you will be able to catch up to date scoring by clicking HERE or you can keep track of them on the Twitter section of the Seward County athletics website at www.scccsaints.com.