Going through a rough patch in their schedule, the Seward County Lady Saints could not get out of their rut Tuesday night in the Sports Arena in Hutchinson,

blowing a late lead in game one to fall 26-24 before the Lady Dragons easily took game two 25-12 to go up 2-0. Game three would go to Seward as they avoided being swept but game four would go to Hutchinson 29-27 in a hard fought battle to give the Lady Dragons the match 3-1.
In a much anticipated battle between the two Jayhawk West Conference rivals, Seward and Hutchinson played nip and tuck through the early part of game one, taking turns with slight advantages before finding themselves tied at 8. Hutch would go up 12-9 before the Lady Saints came back to tie things up at 13 on a kill from Courtney Geesing. After the Lady Dragons tied things back up, Seward would take a lead moments later on a block from Bailey McFerren and Marina Dias to make it a 16-15 game in favor of the Lady Saints. After Hutch tied the game back up at 19, they would score the next three points to take a late 22-19 lead on Seward. Then it was the Lady Saints turn for a run. Seward scored three straight on kills from Geesing, Aislyn Karney, and Jasmine Bryant to tie things up and two straight Hutchinson hitting errors gave the Lady Saints game point, up 24-22. Seward was called in the net on their first chance and their second change would see an attack go long to tie things at 24. Seward would do themselves in from there, hammering a ball into the net to give Hutch a 25-24 lead and would then get called in the net for the second time in four points to give the Lady Dragons the game 26-24.
The second game was one to forget for Seward. The Lady Saints would fall behind 10-3 on eight early errors and would find themselves in a 20-8 hole after a ball handling error. The Lady Dragons would continue to put the pressure on Seward before finally coming out on top of a 25-12 decision to take a 2-0 lead. The Lady Saints managed just 4 kills in the game while committing 9 hitting errors for a final hitting percentage of -.227 for the game.
Out of the break the Lady Saints looked as if they were going to make a go of things. Four early Geesing kills had them up 8-7 but their momentum was stopped by a Hutchinson sideout and the Lady Dragons would take things back into their court, scoring four straight of their own to take their first lead of the game at 11-8. Seward would remain down until a kill from Geesing brought them to within one and back to back putdowns by McFerren and Bryant put them on top 18-16. The Lady Saints would go up 21-16 and finally had control of the game and would play even with the Lady Dragons until the 24-19 point where they had another chance to win a game. Hutch would deny Seward on their first three chances and would climb to within two at 24-22 but the Lady Saints would go to their captain Geesing in a time of need and the sophomore outside would finish the Lady Dragons off with a kill in the seam to give Seward the 25-22 win.
In the fourth game, the Lady Saints once again looked like business, opening an early 5-1 lead on Hutchinson on a kill from Karney. Up 9-5 after another Geesing kill, the Lady Saints lapsed on the defensive end and would give up four straight Lady Dragon points to knot the game at 9. The teams would go back and forth, literally, for the next 12 points and midway through the game remained tied at 15. A pair of Seward hitting errors helped spawn a Hutch run to take a 19-16 lead but a sideout followed by a block from Aubree Young and a kill from Geesing tied things back up at 19. The teams remained hand in hand and were still tied at 23 as both looked to take the all-important game four. A Geesing kill gave Seward a shot at game point up 24-23 but Hutch would sideout to tie it at 24. The Lady Dragons would have three shots at match point but each time Seward would deny them and the game remained knotted at 27. Hutchinson would then score the next point and would finish the Lady Saints off with a service ace to end the match with the score 29-27.
After a dismal first two games hitting wise, the Lady Saints finished the night by hitting at a .299 clip in the final two games and ended the match with the Lady Dragons at .122 overall. Their 46 kills were the 3rd most they had had in a conference match this season but their 30 hitting errors on the night matched the most they have had in any match all season. Geesing stepped up for the Lady Saints with 23 kills which was just one short of her career high of 24. McFerren finished the affair with 9 kills and Karney with 7. Marina Dias dished out 41 of Seward’s 44 assists in the match. Madison Winkleman led the Lady Saints with 22 digs while Dias, Geesing, and Salitza Abrantes all broke into double figures with 14, 12, and 10 respectively. The Seward block was non-existent as one of the top blocking teams in the country was held to just 3 total blocks on the night.
In dropping its 5th straight, the Lady Saints fall to 20-13 overall on the 2011 campaign and 9-4 in Jayhawk West Conference play. The loss pushes Seward back to 3rd place in the conference race, ˝ game behind Colby who is 9-3. Next up for the Lady Saints is Northern Oklahoma-Enid who they will take on in non-conference action Thursday night for Sophomore Recognition Night where we will recognize 7 Seward sophomores playing their last regular season match in the friendly confines of the Greenhouse.
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