LIBERAL, Kan. – For a fourth consecutive year, the Seward County volleyball team will be heading to the Region VI semifinals, this year, taking down the 8th seeded Dodge City Conquistadors in consecutive sets 25-17, 25-14, 25-18.
Despite the loop-sided scores, the Lady Saints did not play their best volleyball to open postseason play, giving the Conqs six of their first eight points off service errors. Holding just a 10-8 lead, Djuly Schmorantz came away with a kill to start a 7-2 run for Seward to push their lead to seven points. Errors got in the way of the Lady Saints finishing the set on a positive note, giving Dodge their final five points before winning 25-17.
Seward fell behind to start the second set, but quickly switched the momentum, going on a 5-3 run to take a one-point lead early in the set off a Luz Sierra kill. After Seward pushed the lead to five with a Thais Vieira kill, the Conqs fought their way back into the set, using a 4-1 run to make it 14-12. Sierra, Vieira and Esmadar Tavares charged the Lady Saints to a set two win, combining for eight of the final ten Seward County points to win 25-14.
The Conqs took another early lead to begin set three, but it was the Lady Saints who put the hammer down, scoring seven of the next eight points to make it 7-3 and force a Dodge City timeout. After the Lady Saints doubled the Conqs score, 14-7, Dodge City used a 5-0 run to cut the lead to two points. The Seward lead ballooned to eight with a 6-0 run, but service errors once again got in the way of the Lady Saints, giving Dodge City four of their final six points before winning set three 25-18 and completing the sweep.
As a team, the Lady Saints hit a combined .514 on the night with 46 kills. Schmorantz led the way with 14 kills, while Sierra and Giovanna Tapigliani each finished with nine. Laura De Pra finished the night with 36 kills. Although Seward finished with four aces, their aggressive serving netted the Conqs 15 points.
With the win, Seward will take on the Barton Cougars at noon in the Greenhouse on Sunday (Nov. 4) for a chance to play for a Region VI championship. Following the match, Colby and Hutchinson will play with the winners of the matches facing off in the Region VI Championship at 6:00 p.m.
Tickets will be $5 for adults and $3 for children under 18 and senior citizens. The event will be FREE for children under the age of five, as well as employees and students of Seward County Community College and USD 480 with a college or school ID.