ODESSA , Texas – Following two straight Jayhawk West victories, the No. 11 Lady Saints volleyball team will head south for the Wrangler Volleyball Classic in Odessa, Texas for a weekend of non-conference games. Seward County will open up the Classic on Friday (Sep. 8) with a rematch against Odessa at 12 p.m. before facing off against Temple at 6 p.m. They will finish the weekend on Saturday (Sep. 9) with matches against Richland at 9 a.m. and Western Texas at 3 p.m.
The Lady Saints (6-0, 2-0) are coming off a dominating 3-0 (25-12, 25-6, 25-19) victory over Garden City. Freshman right side hitter, Giovanna Tapigliani, is starting to find her stride as she has 42 kills and 29 digs over the past three matches. In her match against Garden City she finished with her second straight 19-point game, hitting .600 with six service aces.
Seward County currently ranks first in the nation in kills per set (14.32), service aces per set (3.27) and points per set (20.2).
This will be the second matchup of the season between the Lady Saints and Lady Wranglers. Their first match ended with the Lady Saints coming from behind in multiple sets to win the match in five sets, 3-2 (30-32, 25-17, 26-24, 20-25, 15-12). Odessa enters the game with a 6-2 record.
The first match saw the Lady Saints with their lowest hitting percentage of the season, hitting only .181 while recording 37 errors. Since that match, Seward County lowered their error rate, recording only 15 over the past six sets.
The Lady Saints will have to work around Bojana Bolozan, who recorded eight blocks in their first matchup. Since their matchup, Bolozan has led the team with 1.22 blocks per set. Sophomore outside hitters Anna Rupertova (2.30) and Alison Fuata (2.25) lead the Lady Wranglers in kills per set. Odessa leads the all-time series 1-3.
Temple comes in at 1-8 overall, coming off a 3-0 win over Western Texas after losing eight straight to start the season. The Leopards are led on offense by Caitlyn Crockett (3.60 kills/set), Mikaela Sako (3.20 kills/set) and Samantha Palacios (3.00 kills/set). They have been out-hit by opponents, however, .225-.102.
The Leopards have two players averaging over five digs per set, Alyssa Gallardo (7.60) and Kendall Herring (5.00). To go along with her offense, Crockett also leads Temple in blocks per set with 1.60. Seward County won the only previous matchup between the two teams.
Richland enters the weekend with one game under their belt, losing to Arlington Baptist 3-1 (25-18, 12-25, 17-25, 24-26). In their lone game, the Thunderducks hit .065. Freshman outside hitter Haley Young led the Thunderducks with four kills per set. In 2016, Richland went 16-14 before having their season ended by Brookhaven in the opening round of the Region V Tournament. Seward County leads the all-time series 2-0.
WESTERN TEXAS PREVIEW
Western Texas comes into the Classic with a 2-8 record on the season. Their two wins came against Cisco College, both ending in 3-1. The Lady Westerners have lost four straight. Western Texas is led by outside hitters Madison Brown (2.69 kills/set) and Alexis Mancera (2.64 kills/set). Defensive specialist Mary Taylor comes away with 4.61 digs per set. The Lady Saints own an advantage in the all-time series 6-1.
For more information on the Seward County volleyball team, visit SewardSaints.com.