For the first time since 2003 the Sewa rd County Lady Saints Vo lleyball Team has been crowned Jayhawk West Conference Champions. Although it was rather anticlimactic against a 2-10 Dodge City squad, Seward took care of the Conqs in straight sets on Sophomore Night to claim the conference title as well as the #1 seed heading into this weekend’s Region VI Tournament with a bid to the National Tournament on the line.

The evening started with a packed Greenhouse recognizing six Seward sophomores playing their final game at home Monday night. Lindsey Miller, Diana Castrillon, Taryn Westerman, LaKendra Sanders, Adriann D’Amico, and Amanda Savage were all escorted by their parents onto the court and received a warm final ovation from the Greenhouse crowd. Seward didn’t waste much time in jumping all over the Conqs, leading 6-3 after a combo block from Kelen Ricardo and LaKendra Sanders and stretching the lead to 10 shortly after with an ace from Amanda Savage to put the Lady Saints up 15-5. Seward went up 20-12 and traded points the rest of the way with Dodge to win 25-17 with a bullet down the line from Lindsey Miller to sew up the game one win.

Game two was never a contest as Seward raced out to leads of 6-2, 13-4, and 22-9 before eventually putting the game away 25-10 but Dodge would show a little bit of fight in game three trying to avoid the sweep. With just a three point lead at 11-8, Taryn Westerman smashed a Dodge overpass to the hardwood to put the Lady Saints up 12-8 which would spark a Seward County run in which they would score 10 of the next 13 points to go up 22-11. After Dodge fought back to 24-19, the Lady Saints finished the set in style with all five Lady Saint sophomores active for the match on the court to celebrate a win and a conference title after they scored point #25 to win game three 25-19.

Seward was led offensively and defensively by their sophomores in the clinching win as LaKendra Sanders (9), Lindsey Miller (8), and Taryn Westerman (6) topped the Lady Saints in kills while Amanda Savage’s 12 digs led the gals in green on the night. Sophomore Adriann D’Amico had a nice match pulling up 5 digs while the sixth Lady Saint sophomore Diana Castrillon sat out the match in preparation for this weekend’s Region VI Tournament. Maddy Taylor led the Lady Saints with 17 assists c losely followed by Westerman with 16.

The Lady Saints now set their sights on the Region VI Tournament where they look to return to the National Tournament for the first time in six seasons. Their opening match will be Saturday at either 11:00 or 1:00 against the winner of Friday’s Barton County/Colby match. Check back to www.scccsaints.com throughout the rest of the week and the weekend for updates on the tournament and the Lady Saints quest for the National Tournament.