ODESSA, Texas – The No. 11 Seward County volleyball team was back in action Friday night as they traveled to Odessa, Texas for the Wrangler Volleyball Classic to take on Odessa and Temple. The Lady Saints took care of business as they ended the first day of the Classic with a sweep, defeating Odessa 3-0 (25-19, 25-18, 25-23) and Temple 3-0 (25-11, 25-17, 25-10).
GAME 1 RECAP: SEWARD COUNTY VS. ODESSA
The Lady Saints (8-0, 2-0) faced a tough challenge to open up the weekend, facing the hosting team, Odessa. The previous match between the two teams saw them go into the 5th set, with Seward County coming out on top. This rematch proved to be slightly easier for the Lady Saints.
The two teams traded points to start the first set, until it was tied 8-8. Two straight Luz Sierra blocks followed by a Giovanna Kuntze service ace and Viviane Viana kill helped give the Lady Saints a 12-8 lead. The small lead proved to be all the Lady Saints needed to put away set one, as they went on to win 25-19.
The Lady Saints jumped out to a 7-0 lead in dominating fashion to start set two. Giovanna Tapigliani and Sierra both came away with a kill and block a piece to help Seward with their strong start. The Lady Saints continued to stretch their lead, going up ten points after a Briana Domino kill, to make it 17-7. Attacking errors by Seward helped the Lady Wranglers inch back into the set, but still wasn't enough. Kuntze ended set two with a kill, helping the Lady Saints win 25-18.
Set three provided the action which was expected between the two teams. Down 6-9 in the early part of the set, two straight Domino kills and another Sierra block brought the score even. The Lady Saints continued their run with another Domino kill, Viana kill and two Mariana Nascimento service aces, making the score 13-9.
Odessa fought back into the set, tying it late at 23-23. Refusing to break, the Lady Saints scored the final two points of the match with a Tapigliani kill followed by a Viana kill, giving them the win in the set and the match.
The Lady Saints kept pace with their NJCAA leading kills per set, averaging 14 in the match against Odessa. Viana picked up her fifth double-double, finishing the match with 10 kills and 16 digs. Sierra led the team with 14 points, eight coming from kills. Kuntze paced the match with 29 assists.
Defensively, Sierra was a force at the net, picking up seven blocks, her fourth game with at least five blocks. Nathiellen Machado was perfect on the receiving end with 10 receiving attempts and no errors, while also leading the team with 17 digs.
GAME 2 RECAP: SEWARD COUNTY VS. TEMPLE
What started out as a close first set, quickly turned into a blowout for the Lady Saints. After starting the set by trading points, the Lady Saints quickly gained an advantage. Up 5-3, Seward went on a 14 to 3 run to make the score 19-6. A frenzy of Viana kills helped the Lady Saints go on the run and close out the first set 25-11.
The second set would be the closest of the match because of a number of errors. Down 3-5 to start the set, Seward won seven of the next eight points to take a 10-6 lead with two kills coming from Esmadar Tavares and Nascimento a piece. The Lady Saints continued to go on runs, this time extending the lead to 19-11 after two Viana service aces and a Brianna Bradford block. Four errors brought the Leopards back into the set, making it 23-17, but a Tavares kill and Temple error gave Seward the victory.
The Lady Saints came out swinging in the third set, winning 20 of the first 26 points. Six Viana kills led the onslaught by Seward. The Lady Saints made no mistakes to let the Leopards back in the set this time, ultimately winning the set 25-10 and the match 3-0.
Following a rough match one which saw the Lady Saints have a measly .190 attack percentage, Seward bounced back in the second game, increasing their attack percentage to .352. Nascimento (8-0-10) and Sierra (4-0-5) led the Lady Saints with an .800 attack percentage. Viana (13) and Tapigliani (11) finished the match as the leaders in kills.
The Lady Saints ended the match with 52 digs, 17 of which were recorded by Machado. Nascimento led Seward at the net, blocking three attacks.
Seward finishes the Wrangler Volleyball Classic tomorrow (Sep. 9) with a match against Richland at 9 a.m. before taking on Western Texas at 3 p.m.
For more information on the Seward County volleyball team, visit SewardSaints.com.