LIBERAL, Kan. – The Seward County Community College volleyball team begins defense of its Region VI title with an opening-round matchup against Pratt Community College at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday at the Greenhouse.
The game has been bought out by the Saints Booster Club and admission is free to the public.
The Lady Saints won their fourth-straight, regular season Jayhawk West title with a perfect 16-0 record, going undefeated in conference play for the third time in a row. Heading into the postseason, Seward is 25-2 overall with its only two losses coming early against tough non-conference foes in Salt Lake Community College and Parkland College. The Lady Saints ended the season on a 17-game winning streak, losing only two of 53 sets in that span.
Seward easily handled Pratt twice this season, winning both times in straight sets, on September 23 at the Greenhouse, 25-14, 25-7, 25-13 and on October 23 at Pratt, 25-9, 25-10, 25-8. Pratt finished eighth in the Jayhawk West at 3-13 and 8-24 overall.
The Lady Saints have a strong balance of sophomores and freshmen. Freshman Yanlis Feliz has been named KJCCC Player of the Week seven times this season while sophomore Laura De Pra is a six-time KJCCC Setter of the Week. Sophomores Djuly Schmorantz, Thais Vieira, Asia Jhun, Dorianne Lebron, Celenia De Leon and Tapanga Johnson along with freshmen Mesalina Severino, Grecia Soriano and Ariana Arciniega Celenia De Leon and Tapanga Johnson round out the team.
Seward is looking for a repeat of last season when it swept through the playoffs with victories over Dodge City and Barton and a win over Hutchinson in the championship game to capture the Region VI title.
Second-year SCCC head coach Tony Trifonov says the Lady Saints have all the tools to repeat, but need to be mentally prepared and avoid the slow start.
"We have to be mentally strong," Trifonov said. "That's the only thing we have to do. Physically, technically and tactically we are prepared. We just need to manage our emotions. We need to go at it from the start."
If the Lady Saints get past the Beavers, they will host the Region VI Championships and advance to the semifinals on Sunday at the Greenhouse.