ODESSA, Texas - For the first time since 2008, the No. 11 Lady Saints volleyball team has started the season 10-0 following sweeps against Richland and Western Texas Saturday (Sep. 9). Seward ended the Wrangler Volleyball Classic defeating Richland 3-0 (25-10, 25-17, 25-6) and Western Texas 3-0 (25-13, 25-11, 25-13).
GAME 1 RECAP: SEWARD COUNTY VS RICHLAND
With some leftover momentum from day one, the Lady Saints wasted no time taking a lead in the first set. Two kills by Luz Sierra and Giovanna Tapigliani gave Seward an early 4-1 lead. Attacking errors allowed the Thunderducks back into the match at 6-5. The two teams traded points until Mariana Nascimento recorded three straight kills which would start a 14-4 run to give the Lady Saints the victory in set one, 25-10.
Set two proved to be a little more difficult for the Lady Saints. Ten errors by Seward provided a key boost for the Thunderducks to start the match, as they led the Lady Saints 14-9. A Giovanna Kuntze kill jumpstarted a 16-3 run by the Lady Saints. Esmadar Tavares led the Saints during the run with five kills of her own, helping Seward win set two 25-17.
Energized from their late run to win set two, the Lady Saints quickly put away the Thunderducks in the third set. After starting the set leading 4-3, Luz Sierra took it into her own hands to increase the Lady Saints lead. Three kills and three blocks by Sierra gave Seward a 10-3 lead. The Lady Saints continued to go on runs the remainder of the match, including a seven-point run capped off by a Brianna Bradford kill to give the Lady Saints a 20-5 lead. Briana Domino ended the set with a kill, giving Seward the win in set three 25-6.
For the second straight game, Nascimento (5-0-6) recorded an attack percentage above .800. Four Lady Saints, including Nascimento had an attack percentage of at least .500. That group also includes Bradford (.500), Tavares (.636) and Sierra (.545). Tapigliani led the Lady Saints on offense with 10 kills and 12.5 points.
The Lady Saints ended the match with five team kills. Sierra led the team with four kills and Tapigliani finished with three. Seward finished the match with 46 digs, with Domino (14) and Nathiellen Machado (11) both finishing in double digits.
GAME 2 RECAP: SEWARD COUNTY VS WESTERN TEXAS
The Lady Saints started the final match by going on a 5-1 run. Viviana Viana, Giovanna Tapigliani, Luz Sierra, and Briana Domino all got involved with a kill a piece. Viana continued to get kills the rest of the set, finishing with five for the set. The set ended with a Mariana Nascimento kill, giving the Lady Saints set one 25-13.
Set two began in similar fashion for the Lady Saints, jumping out to an early 11-4 lead before Western Texas called a timeout. Giovanna Kuntze, Viana and Tapigliani all contributed in the strong start, recording two kills each. The Lady Saints continued their dominance in the set, ultimately winning 25-11 following a Kuntze kill.
The Lady Saint started the final set on an 8-0 run five kills and one block. Two straight service aces by Viana put Seward up 13-3 midway through the match. The lead proved to be too much for Western Texas to come back, with the Lady Saints winning set three 25-13 and the match 3-0.
The Lady Saints finished the match with 15.66 kills per set, increasing their NJCAA leading season average to 14.44 on the season. Tapigliani led the Lady Saints offense with 13 kills, while Viana finished with her sixth double-double on the season with 11 kills and 11 digs.
Seward finished the match with 56 digs as Domino (14), Machado (10), Tapigliani (11), and Viana (11) all recorded double-digits digs.
The Lady Saints will be back in action on Monday (Sep. 11) at 6:30 p.m. when they travel to take on Cloud County.
For more information on the Seward County volleyball team, visit SewardSaints.com.