Dennis Lesh Sports arena was electric last night during the conference matchup between Pratt Community College and Seward County Community College. Both teams wore pink to raise breast cancer awareness, and pink t-shirts were sold to the crowd for the Side-Out Foundation.
Although Side-Out’s Dig Pink events began as volleyball specific events, and are now supported by middle and high school and college students nationwide. All proceeds benefit grants to medical research organizations and entities dedicated to providing support to breast cancer patients and their families.
The first set started out with Pratt and Seward trading point for point. Seward took a 16-18 lead before Pratt made a six point run sparked by a Jessica Sanders solo block. A Seward kill attempted to spark offense at 22-19 but it was retaliated with a kill by Sanders. A quick tip gave Seward the serve back, but a service error finished the set off. Pratt won set one 25-20.
The second set was more of the same. Both Pratt and Seward were trading point for point and the game was tied 9-9 before Seward went on a seven point run. An attack error from Seward, followed by a Seward net violation, turned the tide in favor of the Beavers. Little by little Pratt was able to whittle their way back into the match. Pratt was down 18-20 when they went on a 5-2 run to make the score 24-22 Pratt. A kill by Silva allowed Pratt to take the set 25-22.
Following the eight minute intermission, Seward was not ready to lay down the match. The third set started out trading points again, with no one leading by more than three points. Pratt was down 11-14 before they were able to get a minute amount of momentum and pushed the score to 15-15 sparked by a Marina Hansen kill. A few serve receive errors tilted the scale in favor of Seward before another Hansen second ball kill brought the score to 16-17. Trading points again until both teams were notched 22-22 then Seward managed three kills in a row to take the set 22-25.
The fourth set was just as tight as the three sets prior. The set was tied 3-3 before Pratt was able to take a two point lead. Pratt held the lead by as much as three until Seward tied things back up 12-12. A Seward service error would keep the momentum in favor of the Beavers. A Pratt service error coupled with a Seward kill and an ace would tie the score again 15-15. Both teams traded points up until the 20-20 mark when a Seward ace would give the Saints an advantage. Seward would go on an offensive run 5-1 to Pratt to close out the fourth set, Pratt 21 and Seward 25.
The fifth and deciding set spelled gloom from the start. Pratt dug themselves a 0-5 hole before a Seward service error would shed some light on Pratt. An immediate Amber Culwell kill brought the Beavers back to life. Pratt was able to rally into the game 5-8 at the turn. Three Saint attack errors and a Sanders block allowed a tie score 10-10. A Mariana Silva kill gave Pratt the advantage 13-11. A Culwell push to the corner and a Silva kill capped the match 15-12 in favor of Pratt.
Sanders led Pratt with 11 kills and three dual blocks. Jocelyn Cochran and Silva each added eight kills. Cochran paired that with 23 digs and Kaci Copeland added 23 digs. The balanced team continued with Culwell and McKenzie Turner each adding seven kills. Pratt Community College had their best night blocking of the season with 17 team blocks.
"Pratt was able to prevail the five set thriller by capitalizing when it counted most," said Head Coach Kalie Mader.
PCC def. Seward 3-2