The Seward County Community College volleyball team advanced to the NJCAA Region VI Tournament Championship match with a victory over No. 2 seed Colby Community College, 30-27, 30-25, 21-30, 28-30, 15-13, in an evenly contested five-game thriller on Sunday afternoon at the Hutchinson High School Salthawk Activities Center. Seward County advances to play in the Region VI Championship for the ninth time in the last 10 years. Seward County has posted five Region VI titles and three runner-up finishes since 1997.

The Lady Saints and Lady Trojans dealt continues blows in Sunday’s elimination match. In five-games, there were 22 ties and 24 lead changes. Seward County won game’s one and two, with no lead growing larger than five points. The Lady Trojans battled back winning game’s three and four, taking the control of the match with a commanding 30-21 game-four win.

Game-five swung back-and-forth with each team holding leads. The Lady Saints got off to an 8-4 lead, behind three kills and one ace from sophomore, Janete Ferreira. Seward County’s lead reached 12-6, after another Ferreira kill, Alex Droogsma kill and a Colby attack error. At that moment, Colby’s top player brought the Lady Trojans back into the game. Ana Kokanovic, the Region VI and Jayhawk West Conference Most Valuable Player this season, led Colby to a 7-0 run with two aces and two kills while Colby took the lead 13-12.

With their season on the line, Seward County received back-to-back kills from sophomore right side hitter, Juliana Nascimento, giving the Lady Saints a 14-13 lead. SCCC won the match on a Colby attack error, winning game-three 15-13. Kokanovic, the nations leader in kills for the second consecutive season was phenomenal, leading all players with 26 kills, 12 aces and 14 digs, marking the only triple-double of the Region VI Tournament.

Seward County was led by Ferreira (18 kills and 23 digs), Nascimento (15 kills, five digs and five blocks), Jennifer Noel (12 kills and two blocks), Katy Troutman (30 game-high 30 digs) and Alex Droogsma (53 assists, four kills, 12 digs and two blocks).

The Lady Saints advance to the Region VI Championship match in a rematch against Hutchinson Community College. Yesterday, the Lady Blue Dragons defeated the Lady Saints 3-0, sending SCCC to the loser’s bracket.