LIBERAL, Kan. – The Lady Saints are Region VI volleyball champions once again.
Seward dispatched of its foes in straight sets, Hutchinson in the semifinals and Colby in the championship game, on Sunday at the Greenhouse to earn back-to-back Region VI championships and its third in four years.
The win gives the Lady Saints an automatic bid into the National Junior College Athletic Associational Tournament from November 21-23 in Hutchinson, Kan.
FINALS (vs COLBY)
Seward faced off against Colby in the championship tilt on Sunday at Greenhouse. It was the third meeting between the two schools with the Lady Saints emerging victorious in those matches. The result was no different this time around.
The Lady Saints swept the Trojans, 25-17, 25-21 and 25-18 to successfully defend its Region VI title and head to the NJCAA tournament.
It was a close contest in the first set with Seward jumping out to a 3-1 lead before Colby came back to hold a 5-4 advantage. The teams were knotted at seven when the Lady Saints used a 4-0 run to open a 12-7 margin. Seward maintained its five-point cushion before salting away the win with a 5-2 spurt to close out the game.
The Lady Saints led early on in the second set, holding a four-point margin at 14-10, but the Trojans fought back and closed the gap to one on several occasions and eventually tied the game at 20-20. Seward showed its poised and scored five of the final six points to earn the victory.
With a two sets to none advantage and a rocking Greenhouse, the Lady Saints could taste the title. Seward jumped out to 7-3 and 16-8 leads before Colby would narrow the margin. But the Lady Saints would not be denied as they would not let the Trojans any closer than four points the rest of the way en route to the title win.
In their second years at SCCC, head coach Tony Trifonov and assistant coach Parker Thompson have led the Lady Saints to Jayhawk West Conference titles, Region VI championships and NJCAA berths in as many seasons.
SEMIFINALS (vs HUTCHINSON)
The Lady Saints advanced to the finals with a win over the Hutchinson Blue Dragons in straight sets, 25-13, 25-17 and 25-21, earlier on Sunday at the Greenhouse.
In the first set, the two teams traded points early before the Lady Saints went on an 8-0 run to open a 12-4 advantage. Hutchinson tried to stay in the game, but Seward slowly expanded its margin to 10 at 21-11 and closed out the game for the win.
The Lady Saints dominated the Blue Dragons from start to finish in the second set. Seward jumped out to a 9-1 lead and Hutchinson never recovered. The Lady Saints outscored the Blue Dragons, 16-7 the rest of the way to post the victory.
In the third set, Seward opened a 7-3 margin, but with its playoff life on the line Hutchinson kept on battling and fought all the back to knot the game at 17. The Lady Saints kept their composure and use an 8-4 run to close the set and shut the door on the Blue Dragons' playoff hopes.
The Lady Saints beat the Blue Dragons for the third time this season.