The Lady Saints claim the Region VI and Plains District Championship
|Game Statistics||Butler Community College||Seward County Community College|
By: Kenny Hernandez
LIBERAL, Kan. - Seward County Community College claims the Region VI and Plains District championship with a 3-1 victory over Butler Community College on Saturday, November 5th. The Lady Saints advance to the NJCAA National Tournament in West Plains, Missouri, with the first round on November 17th, and their opponent will be announced at a later date.
Seward County claims its eighth regional title and will make its ninth national tournament appearance in program history. This is the first time back to the national tournament since 2019, where the Lady Saints finished a program-best national runner-up.
Seyun Park led the Lady Saints with 20 kills and a .405 hitting percentage. Sarah Cruz added 15 kills and a .308 hitting percentage, and the setter Rafaela DaSilva had 46 assists and 13 digs in the match.
On Saturday afternoon, the Greenhouse was packed with Saints nation all in black for the blackout match. The Lady Saints gave the home crowd a lot to cheer for early as they took an 8-2 lead early in the first set. After a hitting error by the Grizzlies, the Lady Saints jumped out to a 10-point lead of 13-3. Seward County finished the first set on a 4-0 run to win the first set 25-11 to take a 1-0 match lead.
Butler responded in the second set with an early 7-2 advantage over Seward County, and the Grizzlies' offense continued to create separation. The Lady Saints found themselves down 16-8, but Seward County fought back to cut Butler's lead down to 21-16. The Grizzlies went on to win the second set 25-17 as the match tied at a set apiece.
The third set was back-and-forward action will both teams exchanging points as Seward County had an early lead of 5-4 after a Jessica Sales kill. Butler took their largest lead of the third set, 15-11, and Sarah Cruz connected on a kill to get the serve back for Seward County. An attack error on the Grizzlies tied the set at 18-18 as the Lady Saints could feed off of the Greenhouse crowd's energy. Seward County rallied to take a 24-21 lead, and Laura Almedia served an ace on set point as the Lady Saints won the third set 25-21 and led the match 2-1.
The fourth set started similarly to the third with an early tie of 6-6, and neither team showed signs of slowing down. Park elevated at the net and blocked the Grizzlies to take a 19-18 lead that started a 3-0 rally to give Seward County a 21-18 lead. Butler made a last-second effort with a 3-0 run of their own to cut the Lady Saints lead down 24-23. After a Seward County timeout, the Lady Saints' Sarah Cruz won the championship with a kill down the line as Seward County won the fourth set 25-23 and the match 3-1.
The Lady Saints win the Region VI title and the Plains District championship for the first time under head coach Geno Frugoli. Seward County will await its next opponent with a bracket show later this week. As we receive more information on the 2022 NJCAA National Tournament, we will have it at SewardSaints.com and on social media at SewardSaints.