By SHAWN YORKS
• Daily Leader
After the Seward County Lady Saints volleyball squad lost to Colby last week, it made it tougher for them to play host to a first round playoff match. Several things had to come together for Seward County to play at least one more match in The Green House.
Well, things went Seward’s way Wednesday night. The Lady Saints easily dispatched of Hutchinson, and Pratt downed Colby. That puts the Lady Saints in a tie for third place with Barton County and, more importantly, puts Seward at home next week in a Region VI play-in match as the third seed. The Lady Saints will play host to ... Hutchinson.
In Wednesday’s 25-13, 25-22, 25-14 win over Hutchinson, the Lady Saints (18-17 overall, 9-5 conference) put on a dominating show on sophomore recognition night.
“It’s always exciting, it’s a culmination of their career here,” said head coach Bert Luallen of sophomore night. “It’s kind of bittersweet and they want it to end on a good note, and beating Hutchinson, that’s always a good note.”
The Lady Saints trailed in the first set, 5-4, after jumping to a 4-0 advantage. But a 9-2 run put Huthinson (6-28, 5-9) on its heels and the Lady Blue Dragons weren’t able to recover.
“The first game, especially, we did well because we were passing real well,” Luallen said. “The latter part of the second game we started letting up with our passing game a little bit and that’s what let them back into it. That’s been the thing we’ve tried to work on and improve on this year.”
In that second set, the Lady Saints never trailed, but couldn’t pull away as effectively as they did in game one.
“We just made too many mistakes with our passing,” Luallen said. “We were keeping ourselves out of system by not passing well and that allowed their block to work more effectively and our hitters weren’t working as effectively as they should.”
Down 18-9, Hutchinson cut it to 20-17 and 24-22, but a monster kill by Sheina Fernandes ended the set for the Lady Saints.
Seward was never challenged in the third and final set.
“I think our serving was really good,” Luallen said. “We were pretty much keeping them out of (sync) with our serve. And they weren’t able to run some of the things that they wanted to. When they had a good pass and ran something, they usually got a kill.
“Just serving tough and putting the ball in play helped us a lot.”
Jayhawk West Conference Standings
1. Pratt 12-2, 17-15
2. Dodge City 11-3, 25-9
3. Seward County 9-5, 18-17
3t. Barton 9-5, 22-7
5. Colby 8-6, 26-14
6. Hutchinson 5-9, 6-28
7. Cloud County 2-12, 8-26
8. Garden City 0-14, 2-28