In a swift 61 minutes, the Seward County Lady Saints marched to their 6th Jayhawk West Conference win Wednesday night at the Perryman Center in Garden City, defeating the Lady Broncbusters 25-11, 25-15, 25-16 as they look ahead to a tough weekend of competition in Florida.

Even with two players out due to injury the Lady Saints roster of 10 active players dwarfed their opposition who was down to 6 as the opening whistle blew Wednesday. Seward dominated from the get go in game one against the Busters as Sheina Fernandes recorded 3 straight aces early in the first game to put the Lady Saints up 9-4 and they would never look back from there. Seward would stretch the lead all the way to 16-5 before eventually going on to take game one 25-11 with help from 3 kills off the right arm of Isabela Silva. In game two it was Courtney Geesing’s turn to shine and as Maddy Taylor and Shelly Malouff fed her the ball, the Lady Saints outside hitter delivered kill after kill and pushed Seward out to a 9-3 lead early in game two. The Lady Saints continued their choke hold on the Busters as the game went along, opening their lead to 16-8 and then 25-15 as the game came to a close. Looking for a sweep in game three the Lady Saints again look advantage of some sloppy Garden passing as Madison Winkelman picked up a pair of aces to give Seward a 9-5 lead. While not playing at the top of their game, the Lady Saints still managed to push their lead wider and wider as the game went along, going up by 8, 19-11 on a kill from Stacie Carver and then finishing things off after a pair of Garden hitting errors to take home the three game win 25-16.

Sometimes in a sporting event stats don’t tell the story, but in this one they did. Seward put together a team hitting percentage of .387 to Garden’s .093 while the ‘Busters dished up 34 errors in the match to 20 for the Lady Saints. Fernandes led the team in kills as she usually does with 10 in the win while Geesing finished the night with 9 without an error and Daiane Souza chalked up 8 in the victory. The Lady Saints setters were sharp in the win as well, recording their highest set percentage of the year at .436 behind 18 assists from Malouff and 13 from Taylor. Seward also had a season high 12 aces as a team including 4 from Fernandes, 3 from Winkelman, and 2 each from Taylor and Malouff. Leading the team in digs in the win was Winkelman and Geesing who each recorded an even dozen while Katie Marks chipped in 8.

The win takes Seward to 14-13 overall on the season and 6-4, good for a 4th place tie in Jayhawk West Conference play. Next up on the schedule for the Lady Saints is no easy task. Seward will head to Jacksonville, Florida today and will match up with 14th ranked Florida State-Jacksonville on Friday at 3:00 and then face the #1 ranked team in the country, the Miami-Dade Lady Sharks at 5:00. The date with the #1 ranked team in the country during the regular season marks the first time in recent memory that any Saints or Lady Saints team in any sport has gone up against that test. The Lady Saints will play the role of David in the matchup against the Sharks squad that is currently 18-0 and has lost just 3 total sets on the season. The only teams to even take a set from Miami-Dade this year have been defending National Champions College of Southern Idaho, 2nd ranked San Jacinto, and 3rd ranked Salt Lake.
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