After the success of the 2016 season, the Seward County Lady Saints have high hopes for this upcoming season. Based on a pre-poll, the Lady Saints are projected to finish second in the Jayhawk Conference, and are currently ranked 18 in the nation.
Coach Thais Baziquetto-Allen will return at the helm for her third year at Seward County Community College. Of the roster from last year’s National Tournament team, five players are returning. Out of the five, only one of those players did not see court time during the tournament.
Briana Domino who is an outside hitter, Giovanna Kuntze a setter, Mariana Nascimento a middle hitter, Erica Ferreira an outside hitter and Viviane Viana an outside hitter are the returners from the 2016 Lady Saints roster. All five ladies are returning stronger than before and are ready to take on this season.
“We definitely saw a lot of improvement during the spring season..” Baziquetto-Allen said.
Nascimento has been recognized as First Team All-Region VI, First Team All-Jayhawk West and Jayhawk West Player of the Week. This season, Saints fans expect to see a lot out of Nascimento.
“I always want to do more and more than I already have,” Nascimento said.
Another Sophomore to watch is Viviane Viana. Viana had a strong freshman season for the Lady Saints. She was recognized as Honorable Mention All-Region VI, Honorable Mention All-Jayhawk West, Jayhawk West Player of the Week and Jayhawk West Defensive Player of the week.
After Viana was red-shirted for the 2016 season due to a knee injury, she is back in full force for the 2017 season. “I never want less than I already have, so I am always looking for more. I have high expectations of myself,” Viana said.
All five ladies are returning stronger than before and are ready to take on this season. “We definitely saw a lot of improvement during the spring season,” Baziquetto-Allen said.
Scout Torres, Nathiellen Machado who is a libero, Esmadar Tavares a setter, Giovanna Tapigliane a right side and Luz Sierra a middle hitter and right side are the new freshmen players.
Some freshman to look forward to watching are Tapigliane and Machado. Tapigliane is the new right side for the Lady Saints. Tapigliane is known for her power on the ball. Machado is the new libero for the 2017 season.
“She is really fun to watch, she brings a spark to our defense,” Baziquetto-Allen said about Machado.
The Lady Saints will kick off their season this weekend, Aug. 25-26, where they will play: Odessa Community College, Pima Community College, Eastern Arizona Community College and South Mountain Community College.
The toughest game of the season for the Lady Saints is projected to be against Hutchinson Community College. “I think HCC will be our toughest game this season. They used to have a good, strong team. It has always been HCC and SCCC competing for 1st place ,” Viana and Nascimento said.
One of the main goals for the Lady Saints 2017 season is to reappear at the National Tournament.
“We need to work hard and play together, every time, every day,” Nascimento said.