ROSWELL, N.M. – Following a rusty day to open the season, the No. 9 Seward County volleyball team (2-2) bounced back in dominating fashion, coming away with two sweeps to give new head coach Tony Trifonov his first wins with the team. The Lady Saints took down South Mountain in consecutive sets (25-14, 25-23, 25-22) before defeating Pima 3-0 (25-15, 25-16, 25-11) to wrap up the NMMI Kick-Off Classic.
Game 1 Recap: No. 9 Seward County vs. South Mountain
Although the match ended in a sweep for the Lady Saints, Seward had to be resilient in the final two sets, battling back from a deficit to win. The first set of the match swayed heavily in Seward's favor as they jumped out to an early 7-3 lead thanks to points from Giovanna Tapigliani, Esmadar Tavares, Djuly Schamorantz and Luz Sierra. The Lady Saints continued their onslaught, opening up their lead to 11 points by the end of the set as Laura De Pra gave Seward the 25-14 win with an ace.
After making the first set look easy, the Cougars of South Mountain flipped the script on Seward to start the second set, going up 11-3 to start the match. The Lady Saints wouldn't fold however, winning ten of the next twelve points to tie the match at thirteen. Back-to-back points coming off Sierra ace and Dorianne Lebron slide put the Lady Saints up 15-13. The teams battled for the remainder of the set, but the Cougars couldn't overcome the two-point deficit as the Lady Saints won 25-23 to take a two-set lead.
Seward won the first point of the third set, but quickly fell behind 7-3. As they showed in the second set, the Lady Saints were not to go down without a fight. Seward rattled off nine of the next fourteen points to tie the match at twelve. The teams traded blows until the Lady Saints score four straight points to take a 21-17 lead. The lead proved to be gap needed for give Seward the win, as a Tavares block finished the set, giving the Lady saints the 25-22 win and the sweep.
The Lady Saints offensive attack was led by Schamorantz, who finished the match with a team-high 15 kills. Tapigliani joined Schamorantz in double-digit kills with 11. De Pra paced the match, finishing with 34 assists.
On the defensive side, Nathiellen Machado led the team with 14 digs, while Schamorantz finished with 13 to complete her first career double-double.
Game 2 Recap: No. 9 Seward County vs. Pima
Seward jumped out to an early lead in set one, winning six of the first seven points, coming from three Schamorantz points – two aces, one kill – and two kills from Tapigliani. While it was Schamorantz and Tapigliani who gave Seward the lead to start the set, it was Luz Sierra and Tapanga Johnson who finished the set for the Lady Saints. With Johnson serving the final four points of the set, she finished with two aces, while Sierra came away with two kills to give Sewed the set one win, 25-15.
Set two began much tighter, with the Lady Saints holding a 6-4 lead through the first ten points following another Sierra kill. Seward quickly pushed their lead to five, all while Johnson was serving. Seward continued to extend their lead, taking advantage of Aztec hitting errors along the way, winning set two 25-16 to take a two-set advantage.
While the third set began with the teams trading points, it soon swung in Seward's favor. After leading 6-4, the Lady Saints won ten of the next twelve points to push their lead to double-digits. Seward continued their offensive prowess, going on a 7-3 run with Schamorantz coming away with four points, before winning the set and the match with a kill by Gabrielle Woodall.
Two Lady Saints finished with ten kills – Schamorantz and Sierra. De Pra continued to display her ball placement skills, finishing with 30 assists in the match.
On the defensive side, Machado came away with 17 digs, while Sierra led the Lady Saints with four blocks.
Seward will travel to Independence to take on the Pirates at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday (Aug. 29) to open up conference play, before returning to the Greenhouse for their home opener against Garden City on Saturday (Sep.1).