Ok so maybe it didn’t have the drama of the win at Hutchinson or the feel of sweeping Pratt in the Greenhouse but the Seward County Lady Saints Volleyball Team did something that not a whole lot of other NJCAA programs around the country can contend with; they won their 20th match of the season for the 18th consecutive year.
Seward took their perfect conference record into the Perryman Center in Garden City Wednesday night taking on a struggling Broncbusters team that was down to six total players at days start. Game one was all Seward as after a short lived 2-0 lead from Garden, the Lady Saints reeled off 5 straight points to go up 5-2 and after a ‘Busters side out, a combo block from Kelen Ricardo and LaKendra Sanders pushed the Lady Saints out to a 6-3 lead. Moving up 11-4 later on and 15-8 midway through, the Lady Saints decided it was time to finish off game number one and scored 10 of the games final 11 points capped by a crosscourt bullet from Diana Castrillon to win the first set 25-9. In the second game Garden City came out pesky and held the lead for a good portion of the first half of the set. After a pair of Seward points to break a 10-10 tie, the Lady Saints found themselves up 12-10 and never looked back from there. Taryn Westerman picked up a kill to put the Lady Saints up 17-11 and later on Katie Thomas notched a solo block to put Seward up ten at 23-13. But just when it looked to be another blowout win, the Lady ‘Busters fought back to as close as 23-17 before eventually falling 25-19 to the nations 11th ranked team. Game three wouldn’t be nearly as close as Lindsey Miller served her way to 9 straight points to give Seward an insurmountable 9-2 lead to open the set and Stacie Carver recorded a kill shortly after to extend the lead to 13-2. Getting out all the way to a 16-3 lead, an energetic Seward group held a lead of 22-10 after Miller picked up a back row kill and the Lady Saints unofficial closer Lexie Baldwin came in the end of the set to hammer one to the floor and give Seward the 25-11 game three win to complete the sweep.
Diana Castrillon paced the Lady Saints offense with 12 kills in 22 attacks while Sheina Fernandes finished 2nd with 8 kills on 11 attempts. Feeding the Seward hitters the balls in the win were Maddy Taylor who connected on 24 of 33 attempts for a career high .727 set percentage and Taryn Westerman who had a nice all around game with 13 assists, 7 kills, and 2 solo blocks. Lindsey Miller also found a way to fill up the stat sheet collecting a team high 13 digs and 6 aces while chipping in with 6 kills as well.
The win pushes the Lady Saints to 8-0 in Jayhawk West Conference play which gives them a full two game lead on Pratt and Hutchinson with just 4 matches remaining. Overall Seward is now 20-4 heading into a tough stretch of matches where they will take on 8 straight teams that are or have been ranked in the NJCAA top 20 this season. Their stretch starts tomorrow in the Landmark Real Estate Center Ozfest Invitational where they will take on Arizona Western at 2:00 before tangling with Midland at 6:00. To check on all action in the 2009 Ozfest Invitational CLICK HERE, or CLICK HERE for Lady Saints scoring updates, and as always Twitter updates will be posted throughout all three Lady Saints matches in the tournament.