The Seward County Community College volleyball team had their season come to an end in the NJCAA Region VI Tournament Championship match. The Lady Saints were defeated 30-18, 30-24, 30-19 by Hutchinson Community College, who won their third consecutive NJCAA Region VI Tournament championship, Sunday afternoon at the Hutchinson High School Salthawk Activities Center. Seward County upset No. 2 seed Colby Community College twice during the tournament to earn a berth in the Region VI championship. In finishing the season, the Lady Saints won eight of their last 10 matches of the regular and post-season combined. Seward County finishes the season 23-25 overall, marking the 16th consecutive season that the SCCC volleyball program has won over 20 matches. This seasons Region VI Tournament runner-up finish also marks nine of the last 10 seasons Seward County has played in the Region VI Tournament Championship match. SCCC has won five Region VI championships with four runner-up finishes.

Hutchinson advances to the NJCAA National Tournament for the third consecutive season. Hutchinson has been a dominating force in volleyball over the past three seasons, racking up 46 consecutive victories over Jayhawk West opponents since the start of the 2004 season. In conference play alone, HCC has captured three undefeated seasons in the Jayhawk West Conference going 24-0 in league games over the last three seasons.

The Lady Saints started off in a hole to the Lady Blue Dragons after HCC sophomore Sarah Claborn collected four service aces, and helped Hutchinson to an 8-0 start over SCCC in game-one of the championship match. Seward County scored back-to-back points only twice in their opening game loss, 30-18.

In game-two, Hutchinson grabbed an early 7-1 lead, but the Lady Saints fought back closing the lead to 15-10. The Lady Blue Dragons then went on a 10-3 run to improve their lead to 25-13. Seward County posted a 7-0 run behind a strong serving performance from freshman, Katy Troutman, to bring them to a 25-20 score. Hutchinson was too much as they closed out game-two, 30-24.

It wasn’t until game-three that Seward County grabbed their first and only lead of the match. Seward County scored the first two points and held the lead until Hutchinson took a 4-3 advantage, on their way to a 30-19 win.

The Lady Blue Dragons were led by Brandi Hood (11 kills, .529 hitting percentage and five blocks), Ami Froese (12 kills, .733 hitting percentage), Sarah Claborn (16 assists, 16 digs and seven aces and Karalee Langford (16 assists and 10 digs).

Seward County was led by Juliana Nascimento, who collected 14 kills and a team-best .500 hitting percentage (14 kills-2-errors-24 attacks). Janete Ferreira equaled her teammate with a game-high 14 kills. Ferreira collected 64 kills in the Region VI Tournament, improving her Seward County single-season kills record to 663. Ferreira closes her SCCC career with 1,071 kills.

SCCC freshman setter, Alex Droogsma, recorded 146 assists in the Region VI Tournament, which breaks the all-time single-season record for assists at SCCC. Droogsma, collected 1,754 assists during her freshman season, breaking the all-time record that was previously set in 2000 by April Fries (1,706). This season three all-time single-season records were broken as Ferreira (663 kills), Droogsma (1,754 assists) and freshman libero, Katy Troutman (775 digs) moved into first place in the Lady Saints volleyball all-time record books.

Juliana Nascimento ends her SCCC career with a total of 756 kills and 435 defensive digs. Defensive specialist, Dana McLaren, also played in her final match with the green and white as she collected 528 digs in her two-year career. McLaren will now prepare for her second season with the Lady Saints softball program.