Ranked 9 Lady Saints stay neutral at Las Vegas

Angel Meza, Sports Editor

The Lady Saints traveled to Las Vegas to compete against four opponents, three which are still ranked, rank 14 Utah State Easter, rank 10 Salt Lake, rank 8 Snow College, and New Mexico Military Institute.

On Friday, the Lady Saints started their tournament against Snow College. Although it didn’t come easy throughout the match, the Lady Saints kept their momentum only to upset Snow College on a 3-1 run; 24-26, 25-22, 25-21, 25-23. Viviane Viana was the star of the match, ending with 21 kills, which is her second 20 kill performance of the season. Nascimento (11 kills) and Tapigliani (14 kills) also hit double digit kills for the match. Giovanna Kuntze finished the match with 54 assists, which is her third match of the season with at least 50 assists.

Following match one, the Lady Saints had to bounce back only to sweep NMMI in a 3-0 run; 25-19, 25-19, 25-19. In the beginning of the match, the Broncos fought back into the set, which eventually tied it 14-14, but from there on out the match belonged to the Lady Saints. Nascimento finished the match with a hitting of .667 and 13 kills against NMMI. Kuntze finished the match with 27 assists. Machado led the Lady Saints on defense, with 14 digs and 15 attacks with zero errors. Sierra finished with two blocks, which unfortunately ended her six-kill match streak.

After defeating two opponents on Friday, the Lady Saints finished with two more ranked opponents on Saturday, Salt Lake and Utah State Eastern. The Lady Saints were able to defeat Utah State Eastern in their second match 4-1; 25-12. 22-25, 25-19, 25-19. Unfortunately, the Lady Saints perfect record ended against Salt Lake in five sets; 20-25, 25-20, 25-19, 19-25, 15-17.

On Saturday, the Lady Saints started their match against Salt Lake. The Lady Saints struggled in the beginning of the match. After following a fourth set win for the Bruins, they managed to end the match on the fifth set. Errors by both teams helped give the Lady Saints a 14-13 lead.

However, the Bruins scored four of the last five points, giving them the set five win 17-15, and the match win 3-2. Tapigliani finished the match with a double-double, including a career-high 22 kills. Nascimento finished with an incredible .545 attack percentage. Kuntze assisted on 48 points, falling short on her fourth 50-assist performance.

After a tough first loss of the season, the Lady Saints bounced back to sweep Utah State Eastern 3-1; 25-12, 22-25, 25-19, 25-19. For the second straight match, Tapigliani led the Lady Saints offense with 20 kills. Her .459 attack percentage also led Seward. Domino (10) and Nascimento (11) finished the match with double-digit kills. Kuntze finished the match with 42 assists, an average 10.5 assists per set.

The Lady Saints finished 3-1 over the course of the weekend, defeating three Top 25 teams. Their only loss came to Salt Lake. The Lady Saints will host Butler on Wednesday, Sept. 20, in the Greenhouse.