Just hours after receiving a No. 19 NJCAA Top 25 ranking, the Seward County Community College volleyball team won their Jayhawk West Conference opening match against Butler Community College, 30-27, 30-23 and 30-19, Wednesday night at the Green House in Liberal. Seward County’s victory also marked the 50th win for third year head coach Bert Luallen. Seward County improves to 3-2 overall this season and to 1-0 in the Jayhawk West Conference. Butler drops their first match of the season falling to 4-1 overall and to 0-1 in conference play.

Butler and Seward traded leads on several occasions during the first game. The turning point came when Seward County trailed 24-26, and capitalized on a few Butler miscues and executed on the offensive end to finish out a game-one victory, 30-27.

The Lady Saints controlled the next two games keeping Butler trying to get back into the match. The final game, Seward County dominated and closed out the match 30-19.

Seward County hit .266 as a team, and was led offensively by freshman Jelena Simic. The 5-foot-9-inch outside hitter led the team with 15 kills, a .400 hitting percentage and also posted two aces. Simic is currently averaging 3.94 kills per game (67 kills) and is leading SCCC this season with a .402 hitting percentage.

Freshman outside hitter Dan Yang led all players with five service aces and she collected 12 kills in 33 attack attempts. Freshman setter Chelsea Myers posted 22 assists and sophomore Alex Droogsma picked up 15 assists for the Lady Saints. Starting sophomore libero Katy Troutman led SCCC with 16 digs.

The No. 19 ranked Lady Saints will continue Jayhawk West Conference play on Wednesday, Sept. 5 traveling to Concordia, Kan., taking on Cloud County Community College for a 6:30 p.m. match-up.