The No. 4 ranked Saints of Seward County haven't missed a beat since last season when they had a 16-0 KJCCC finish and 4th place NJCAA finish as they defeated the Grizzlies 3-0 Wednesday night in the Power Plant.
Seward jumped out to a fast start taking an early 6-0 lead in the first set. Butler tried to mount a comeback but was unable to crack the Saints armor. The Saints cruised to a 25-14 set one victory.
The Saints continued to control the match taking a quick 14-8 lead in set two. Butler got within four at 16-12, but ran out of steam and dropped set two 25-14.
"It can be difficult to come back from a large deficit but you have to take it one ball at a time. We would make one good play then we would fall apart for three or make three errors in a row. We need to be more consistent overtime instead of just short spurts of it," mentioned coach Lisa Lechtenberg.
Errors plagued the Grizzlies in the first two sets as they committed eight errors in set one and seven in the second.
The first and only lead of the match for the Grizzles came at the start of the third set when Butler took a 1-0 lead to start the set. That would be the last lead Butler would have as Seward started to gain control of set three. The Grizzlies were within two at 8-6, but couldn't keep the momentum and fell behind 12-6 soon after. A four-point rally would get the Grizzlies within six late in the match, but Seward had other plans and finished the set 25-14 winning the match.
"It was the first match of conference play and we were excited to have Seward at home but tonight they out served us and out passed us. We talk about that all the time, the serve and pass and we didn't take care of that tonight. We did some good things tonight, but definitely know what we need to work on for Saturday when we go to Colby," finished coach Lechtenberg.
Morgan Bryand had seven kills in the match while Amalie Rupertova finished with four and Keera Parks and Jaryn Benning both added in three each. Sydney Scanlon posted 14 set assists and Montana Soderberg finished the night with 10 digs.
Butler (2-3) (0-1 KJCCC) will travel to Colby on Saturday for more conference action. That match is slated for a 2:00pm start from Colby, KS.