The Dodge City Conquistadors fell to the No. 5 Seward Saints Monday night in straight sets and losing 3-0 by scores 25-22, 25-19, 25-13.
It was the sixth straight match the Conqs had lost to the Saints in straight sets. The last time Dodge City won a set against Seward was Oct. 18, 2014. They lost that match 3-1.
Dodge City head coach Kamri Nehls said the team’s previous loss this season against Seward was probably because the Conqs were a bit intimidated by them, because they’re a good team and lead the conference. In 26 matches this season the Saints have lost a total of 13 sets, and are 25-1 overall and 10-0 in conference after beating the Conquistadors.
Monday night, factors outside intimidation caused the loss, Nehls said.
“We switched up our lineup, we tried a new lineup and this was our first game with it,” Nehls said. “I think we were kind of getting used to that. But we just, we allowed too many mistakes in a row, and that third set we stopped playing. We were down and then felt sorry for ourselves and couldn’t get ourselves out of the hole we dug ourselves in.”
Set one was a close match from early on until the end. The Saints jumped out to a 4-1 lead early, but the Conquistadors fought back to tie the set at 4-4. The teams then exchanged points before Dodge City took its first lead 6-5. After Seward tied it 6-6, Dodge City took the lead 7-6. The Conqs expanded that lead to 10-6 before Seward charged back, tying the set at 16-16 and taking the lead 17-16.
Seward ended up winning the set 25-22.
Dodge City worked hard in set two to make a comeback after getting down by as much as eight points, but Seward won that set also, 25-19.
Then came set three. This is when Nehls said the team really dug itself into an insurmountable hole. Seward opened up a 3-0 lead, then expanded it to 5-1, then 7-1, at which point Nehls called a timeout. Dodge City ended up trailing by as much as 10, falling behind 18-8 and causing Nehls to again take a timeout. They won the set 25-13 and took the match 3-0.
Dodge City heads to El Dorado, Kansas to take on Butler on Wednesday. That match is scheduled for 6 p.m.