Hitting the road for the first time in Jayhawk West Conference action in the 2011 season, the freshly ranked #13 Seward County Lady Saints traveled to the Beaverdome in Pratt where they took on the defending conference champions in front of a fired up crowd on Wednesday night. Seward quickly quieted the Beaver faithful in game one with a 25-9 win but saw the noise escalate in games two and three where Pratt hung around with Seward until the Lady Saints finally put away both games late 25-23 to complete the sweep.

Not knowing what to expect from a team that features 10 new faces that were yet to see the rigors of a conference road game, Seward County Head Coach Bert Luallen was certainly happy in game one of the Lady Saints battle with the Beavers when sophomores Aislyn Karney and Daiane Souza stepped up right off the bat to put Seward ahead. Karney started the scoring with a kill on the first play of the game and a block on the next to make it 2-0 and Souza simply couldn’t be stopped on the offensive end of the floor as she hammered four balls to the floor to put the Lady Saints up 6-2 later on. The veterans then gave way to the rookies and freshmen Jasmine Bryant and Bailey McFerren would rise to the occasion and combo for a block to make it 7-2 and Seward followed that up with an ace from Christina Fisher to go up 8-2. Up 10-3 moments later, Seward then turned to sophomore Courtney Geesing who converted on three straight attacks to stretch out the Lady Saints lead to 13-5. Seward would continue to pour it on the Beavers behind strong play at the net from Souza and McFerren and would cruise to an impressive 25-9 win in the opening game as Souza finished with 6 kills and McFerren with 4 kills and 4 blocks. In game two the Beavers were not going to let Seward push them around early on. Pratt played even with the Lady Saints to the 6-6 mark where three aces from Souza and a kill from Geesing gave the gals in green some breathing room up 10-6. Pratt would then come back and tie things up at 10 after a ball handling error and a mishandled serve on the Seward side of the net. The next ten points would see Seward go up by three twice but then see the Beavers come right back and knot things up as before and midway home the teams were tied at 15-15. Trailing 17-16 after a hitting error, McFerren would get Seward back even after Madison Winkelman dug a ball up off the floor and Marina Dias set it up for the Lady Saints freshman middle to put it to the floor and make it 17-17. Seward would go on to take a 19-17 lead and would keep that two point lead to the 21-19 mark when a Pratt hitting error and a kill from Geesing would give the Lady Saints a four point lead 23-19. Just when it looked like they would coast to the finish line, the Beavers put up a stand and would score three straight to make it a one point game at 23-22 before tying it up at 23-23 looking to even the score at one game apiece. Out of a timeout the Lady Saints would get a kill from Geesing to go ahead 24-23 and a block from Aubree Young and Karney would seal the Beavers fate as Seward took game two 25-23. Game three was eerily similar to game two as the score would be tied 2-2, 4-4, and 6-6 early on. Seward would take a pair of two point leads at 9-7 and 11-9 but each time a scrappy Pratt bunch would come back to tie the game back up and that is where it stood with the score 11-11. After the score remained tied at 12, Seward would go on a 6-1 push behind kills from Geesing, Souza, Karney, and McFerren to give themselves some breathing room with an 18-13 advantage. Following a Pratt point to cut the Lady Saints lead to four, Seward would work together on a rare triple block from Souza, McFerren, and Karney to put themselves back up five 19-14. Just when they were starting to feel comfortable, the Lady Saints committed a rash of errors and before they knew it their lead was down to a pair at 20-18. Kills from McFerren and Fisher would stretch the Seward lead back to four at 22-18 and a Pratt error made it 23-18 Lady Saints but like in game two, a late mental lapse would see Seward commit a pair of ball handling errors, a hitting error, and a blocking error to hand the Beavers four points and allow them back to within one at 23-22. Geesing would break the Pratt run with a kill to give Seward match point at 24-22 and after Pratt scored a point to make it 24-23, Geesing would strike again with a bullet down the line to finish things off and give the Lady Saints the 25-23 game three win to sweep the match.
Several Lady Saints would finish with impressive stat lines for the evening including McFerren who racked up a career high 11 kills without an error to go along with 8 blocks and 5 digs. After a big game one, Souza would finish with 12 kills and 8 digs while fellow outside hitter Geesing posted a matching 11 kills and 11 digs for a double-double. Karney pitched in with 7 kills and 5 blocks and Winkelman led the team with 17 digs. Dias connected on 21 of 54 assist attempts and had 3 aces and Fisher ended the night with 15 assists and 2 aces for Seward.
The 13th ranked Lady Saints improve to 9-1 overall on the season and remain flawless in conference play at 2-0. They will enjoy the weekend off as they try to nurse some early season soreness and minor injuries before returning to the court on Monday in the Greenhouse at 6:30 when they will host the Garden City Lady Broncbusters. On Monday for the match with the Busters, the Lady Saints will have giveaways and more throughout the night geared specifically for the faculty and staff in attendance as they celebrate Faculty and Staff Night in the Greenhouse.