It was a weekend in which the Lady Saints just couldnít quite get over the hump in a three day road trip to Texas over Labor Day, as Seward County picked up wins over Clarendon and Richland, but lost five game matches to Vernon and Northern Oklahoma as well as dropping a match to #2 Tyler to finish the weekend action 2-3.

It was a weekend in which the Lady Saints just couldnít quite get over the hump in a three day road trip to Texas over Labor Day, as Seward County picked up wins over Clarendon and Richland, but lost five game matches to Vernon and Northern Oklahoma as well as dropping a match to #2 Tyler to finish the weekend action 2-3.
The Lady Saints road trip started at Clarendon where they took on a scrappy Lady Bulldog team in the always tough to play in, Dawg Pound. As expected, Clarendon came out ready to go in front of an amped up home crowd and quickly took a 1-0 lead against the Lady Saints with a hard fought 27-25 game one victory. In the second, the Seward offense was clicking on all cylinders and recorded 17 kills en route to a 25-21 win to tie things up. In the third, the Lady Saints didnít let up. They jumped out to a big early lead before coasting to a 25-15 win. In the fourth Clarendon took an early lead but Seward quickly erased it and outlasted the Lady Bulldogs down the stretch to win the game 25-20 and the match 3-1. Morgan Riley posted a career high 15 kills for the Lady Saints in the win while Bailey McFerren finished with 10 kills and 5 blocks for Seward. As a team the Lady Saints hit .255 in the match, a season high while Alyssa Olson connected on 41 of 117 sets, a clip of .350, which was also a season best for the gals in green.
On Friday Seward traveled to Vernon where their first matchup of the Vernon Labor Day Classic came against the #2 team in the country, the Tyler Lady Apaches. The Lady Saints took an early lead on Tyler but a midgame run of poor passing turned the tides and gave the Lady Apaches a 16-8 lead midway through. Seward had no answer for the powerful Tyler attack as game one came to a close and the Lady Apaches walked away with an easy 25-11 win. Game two looked like it was going in the same direction for Seward as Tyler quickly jumped out to a 7-1 lead, but the Lady Saints showed some grit, scoring seven of the next eight points to erase the deficit and take a 9-8 lead of their own. They played hand in hand with the Texas powerhouse through the middle part of the game and were tied at 19 later on after back to back blocks from Thayna Silva and McFerren. A ball handling error on the Lady Saints gave Tyler the lead back and Seward played catch-up after that, getting to within one point on three different occasions, but never tying the game back up as the Lady Apaches went on to win 25-23. Tylerís game two win seemed to pop the Lady Saintsí balloon in their attempt to knock off the #2 team in the country as game three started with the Lady Apaches getting out to a 10-2 lead and a 15-6 lead halfway through. Seward closed the gap to 17-12 moments later as Aubree Young picked up two kills and Riley netted another, but Tyler closed the game scoring eight of the final nine points to come away with a 25-13 win to sweep the match. Sewardís offense was nearly non-existent in the loss as McFerren led the team with 5 kills and the Lady Saints combined to hit -.012 in the match while their defense didnít open many eyes either as they managed just 10 digs as a team.
After their letdown against Tyler, the Lady Saints looked to get back on track with a match against the host team Vernon Friday night. Both teams were sharp early on and traded kills back and forth, playing to a 7-7 tie to open game one. Vernon then took a 14-10 lead by scoring seven of the next ten points and held that lead until Seward committed three straight overpasses to give the Chaparrals a 21-16 advantage. The Seward block got them back into the game as Annelise Sanchez and Riley combined on a stuff to get Seward to within one later on and Rachael Coleman teamed with Riley to knot the game at 22. Another ball handling error shifted the momentum once again against the Lady Saints to give Vernon a 23-22 lead and they scored the final two points to win 25-22. Seward came out on fire in game two, taking a 7-2 lead right off the bat. However, Vernon scrapped back into the game and scored eight of the next ten points to erase the Lady Saints lead and take a 10-9 lead themselves. The two were tied at 13 midway through the game when four straight Seward County errors gave Vernon a 17-13 lead. All looked lost for the Lady Saints as they fell behind by five late 20-15 but they didnít give up and pulled to within striking distance at 22-20 before reeling off the final five points of the game on kills from Young, Sanchez, McFerren and an ace from Kourtney Moreland to win the game 25-22. Once again the teams were tight as game three hit its stride and the score was deadlocked at 10 until Vernon rolled off five in a row to go up 15-10. In the match of runs, Seward made their comeback and tied things at 16 before a kill from McFerren gave them a 20-17 lead and an ace from libero Chloe Davis put them up 21-17. Seward held the four point advantage to 24-20 and gave themselves four game point opportunities, all of them which they would need as the Chaps climbed back in to 24-23 before a solo block from Sanchez put the game away 25-23 to give Seward a 2-1 lead. Three straight hitting errors opened a forgettable game four for the Lady Saints that saw an 11-9 Vernon lead turn into a 25-12 final score as the Chaps dominated the Lady Saints to tie the match at 2. In the deciding game the Lady Saints fell behind early and never saw the lead. A hitting error started the downward spiral and the Lady Saints could never find a way on top as Vernon controlled the tempo and scored the final four points after Seward cut their lead to 11-9 to win the game 15-9 and take the match 3-2. McFerren once again paced the offense with 12 kills and just 1 error while Riley also chipped in in the middle with 8 kills and 6 blocks for the Lady Saints. Davis finished with a career high 22 digs for Seward while Young helped out with 9 kills and 7 digs.
The Lady Saints hoped that Saturday would bring a new day for them and they made sure that it did in their first match of the day against Richland. After the teams shared the first four points, Seward went on a 6-0 run thanks to three kills from McFerren to take an 8-2 lead. They continued to roll, taking a double digit lead at 14-4 on an ace from Sanchez and took their largest lead of the game at 20-8 after a Thunderducks service error. Seward finished Richland off in the first after Sanchez banged a T-Duck overpass to the floor to seal the 25-10 win. Seward again took an early lead in game two and never looked back. Kills from Riley and Sanchez put them on top 5-2 and another kill from Riley later on had the Lady Saints on top 15-11. Richland cut the Seward lead to 17-15 moments later but the Lady Saints closed the game on a 6-0 run thanks to a pair of aces from McFerren and a pair of kills from Young to take the game 25-18. The Thunderducks were the aggressors early in game three and took their first sizeable lead of the match at 6-2 on Seward before the Bailey McFerren show began. McFerren had four kills and a solo block in a 6-0 Lady Saints run to regain the lead and the momentum carried Seward to a 13-10 midgame lead. With the score 18-14 later on, Seward scored four straight points, including two on blocks from McFerren and Olson to go ahead 22-14 and they cruised to the victory 25-15 to sweep the match. As a team the Lady Saints hit .310 in the match including the first and second sets in which they combined to hit .432. McFerren led the way for Seward with 13 kills and 4 blocks while Olson hit on 24 set attempts and Moreland dished out 13 helpers in the win.
To wrap things up, Seward stood across the net from Northern Oklahoma-Enid, a team that the Lady Saints had battled just two weeks earlier in their preseason scrimmage in the Greenhouse. Seward came out on fire against the Jets, scoring the gameís first five points on a pair of kills from Sanchez and another from Riley. Northern Oklahoma then went on a run of their own and scored six in a row of their own to go up 6-5 and the teams seesawed to 12-12 midway through the game. A Lakeria Eatmon kill broke the tie and gave the Lady Saints the lead and they held the advantage until a hitting error knotted the game at 17 later on. After trading points to 18-18, Northern Oklahoma scored three straight to take a 21-18 lead but Seward again kept scratching and evened things up at 21 after back to back kills from Young and Riley. An Enid kill got them the lead and the ball back and two straight Seward errors gave them game point at 24-21 before finishing it off 25-22 when the Lady Saints were called in the net. Game two was packed full of errors for the Lady Saints and they never saw a lead. Northern Oklahoma took a 4-1 advantage to open the second and led 14-9 after four straight giveaways by the gals in green. Seward was down 18-11 after another reception error and were down 24-19 until they finally showed some life in the game. A kill from Sanchez made the score 24-20 and a Lady Jet attack error drew them to 24-21. A big block from McFerren and Eatmon made it a 24-22 game and an ace from Davis brought Seward all the way back to within one, but the Lady Saints next serve didnít find its mark and they fell 25-23 to make it 2-0 Enid. Game three was tight in the early going and was tied at 5 before a pair of errors from Northern Oklahoma gave Seward their first lead of the game at 7-5. A kill later on from Eatmon stretched the Lady Saints lead to 12-8 and they took a 14-9 lead on another combo block from Eatmon and McFerren. The Lady Jets cut the Seward lead to 15-13 before McFerren teamed up with Sanchez and Olson for two more rejections and it was the momentum they needed to carry them to the finish line as the Lady Saints lead swelled to 21-15 before an ace from Young wrapped up the 25-19 win to send the match to a fourth game. The Lady Saints put themselves in a huge hole to start the fourth game and trailed 6-0 right off the bat. However, they slowly shaved off the Northern Oklahoma lead until they were within three and an ace from Sanchez and kills from McFerren and Young tied the game at 11 midway through. It remained a nip and tuck battle through the middle of the game and the score remained deadlocked at 17 later on. Two straight Lady Jet attack errors gave Seward a 19-17 lead and a block from Eatmon and McFerren stretched the Lady Saints advantage to 21-18. Seward looked in control up 23-20 after a solo block from McFerren, but Northern Oklahoma scored the next two points to make it a one point game before the Lady Saints stepped on the gas to finish it with a pair of putaways to win it 25-22 and send it to a deciding fifth game. Seward carried the momentum of two straight wins right into the fifth where they wasted no time in taking a 4-1 lead after three straight kills from Riley, Sanchez, and McFerren. The Lady Jets got three straight kills of their own to tie the game up at 4 and the game was knotted at 6 when Seward lost their grip on the match. Three straight errors put Northern Oklahoma up 9-6 before a Seward timeout and the bleeding wasnít stopped there. An Enid kill made it 10-6 and three straight reception errors all but sealed Sewardís fate with the score 13-6. The Lady Saints got back to within three late, but the midgame sleepwalk did them in as Northern Oklahoma picked up a kill to end it and give themselves a 15-11 game five win and a 3-2 win in the match. The loss was the Lady Saints third straight loss in five game matches. Sanchez, Riley, and McFerren each notched 10 kills for Seward in the defeat while Young narrowly missed a double-double with 9 kills and 11 digs. Silva, who was moved from outside hitter to the Lady Saints libero position, tallied a career high 13 digs in the match while McFerren added to her big weekend on the defensive side with 8 blocks.
The weekend sends Seward to 3-7 overall on the season which is where they will be Wednesday when they jump back into Jayhawk West Conference action with their 2012 home opener against the Colby Lady Trojans in the Greenhouse.