It wasn’t exactly the marquee matchup that some of the Seward County Lady Saints recent dates had been. Monday night’s tilt with Northern Oklahoma-Enid pitted the 17-6 Lady Saints against the 5-14 Jets who had struggled against other Jayhawk Conference competition this season. The outcome however, would send shockwaves through the Midwest Juco community as the Lady Jets came from behind, down 2-0, to win the match 3-2 and send the Lady Saints back to Liberal with a sour taste in their mouths.

Seward got off to a slow start in game one after the long bus ride as they fell behind 4-1 after a pair of errors but they would get things rolling in the right direction, coming back to tie the game at 6 on an ace from Aubree Young and then taking their first lead of the contest on a kill from Bailey McFerren to make it 7-6. They would stretch their lead to three at 11-8 on a block from Sarah Miller and Marina Dias and got kills on overpasses from Courtney Geesing and another by Miller to make it 13-8. They were up four 18-14 later on when they went on a 7-0 run to close the game with Madison Winkelman at the service line to win 25-14 and take game one.
The first part of game two was a reversal of script as Seward jumped out to a 4-1 advantage before Northern Oklahoma-Enid fought back to tie it at 6. Tied at 7, the Lady Saints would score five straight points and seven of the next eight thanks to Geesing and McFerren’s work to take a 14-8 lead. Seward would stretch their lead to 21-12 on a pair of kills from Aislyn Karney before Geesing pounded three balls to the floor to close things out and give Seward a 2-0 lead with a 25-14 win.
The two teams were as evenly matched as possible in game three as each took their turns with having one point leads until things were tied at 14, the Lady Saints not helping themselves with 9 errors. The Lady Jets would score to take a lead and then two straight Seward errors made it a three point game 17-14 in favor of Northern Oklahoma-Enid. Seward would get back into things and would tie the game up at 17 on a solo block from Lakeria Eatmon. From there the teams would dance back and forth, taking turns with leads and then tying things up. The teams were tied at 20, 21, 22, and 23 before a costly Seward service error gave the Lady Jets their first game point at 24-23. Seward escaped the first game point to tie things back at 24 but an Enid sideout gave them another shot and this time they finished it off to win 26-24.
Dias would start game four for the Lady Saints with a pair of aces and a solo block from Karney made it 3-0 right away. Seward would remain ahead by three on a kill from Karney to make it 5-2 but five Lady Jet points in a row turned it into a 7-5 game in favor of the home team. A kill from Young and two straight blocks from Karney and McFerren would give Seward the lead once again and a Geesing block and a Young ace would stretch their lead to four at 13-9 later on. The Lady Saints looked in control after an ace from McFerren put them up 15-10 and a kill from Geesing kept them up by a handful at 17-12. However, another late lapse would see their lead evaporate and after their third error in four points the Lady Saints would find themselves tied up at 19. Seward would twice find themselves down a point after that but both times a McFerren kill would tie things up. Tied at 21, an Enid sideout and then an ace put them up 23-21 and a Seward attack error gave the Lady Jets three shots to tie the match up with the score 24-21 in the fourth game. Geesing would give her best effort not to let that happen as she got two kills in a row to make it a one point game at 24-23 but the deficit was too big for Seward in the end as a Lady Jet kill found the floor to give them a 25-23 win to force a deciding fifth game.
Looking to salvage the win, the Lady Saints took an early lead in game give on an ace from Winkelman and a kill from Karney to make it 6-4. An Enid service error later on put Seward up 9-6 and it looked as if they were on the right path to escape the Sooner State with a win. However, two straight Lady Jet points would make it a one point game and after the teams traded points, Seward’s 8th reception error of the match tied the game at 10. Karney would put Seward up 11-10 with a kill but Northern Oklahoma-Enid would score four points in a row to go up 14-11 and put themselves in prime position for the upset. A service error would make it 14-12 and an attack error would draw Seward to within one at 14-13. McFerren would bang one to the floor to tie it at 14 and the teams would trade points to keep the score deadlocked at 15-15. An Enid kill gave them another chance to win the match and the Lady Saints 10th mishap on serve-receive cost them mightily as a Lady Jets ace sealed the match and gave Enid the 17-15 come from behind win to shock Seward.
Offensively the Lady Saints were proficient on the night, hitting .248 as a team and combining to hit .415 in the first two games. Geesing backed up her third straight Jayhawk West Conference Player of the Week nod with an 18 kill performance while playing in four of the five games and McFerren and Karney each reached double figures in kills, McFerren with 11 and Karney with 10. Dias dished out 41 assists for Seward in the win and also helped defensively with 9 digs. Winkelman paced the team in both digs with 18 and aces with 3. Seward’s block was unusually absent in the match as the Lady Saints chalked up just 9 on the night, led by 5 total from Karney and 3 from Miller.
The non-conference loss drops Seward to 17-7 overall on the season. They will return home on Wednesday for a Jayhawk West tilt with Pratt at 6:30 and will then host their alumni day on Saturday when Cloud County comes to town for a matinee affair at 2:00.
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