By RICK PETERSON
There's a lot of volleyball teams across Kansas who would love to have back-to-back top-four state finishes on their resume.
But Seaman will be shooting for more in Friday and Saturday's Class 5A state tournament at the Tony's Pizza Events Center in Salina.
"I think it just needs to be our drive to win,'' Seaman coach Tatiana Dowling said. "We've got to come out and want it and not be satisfied. I think that they're hungry and they're tired of getting fourth and they're excited to step up to the challenge.''
The Vikings earned their fourth straight state tournament berth with a 25-16, 25-15 win over Newton in last Saturday's sub-state final on their home floor.
The Vikings, 33-6 on the season, earned the No. 4 seed for this year's state tournament and will open Pool I play at 8:30 a.m. Friday against No. 5 seed Spring Hill (31-8).
Seaman will also face No. 8 seed Andover (33-3) at 10:30 a.m. and top seed Andover Central (38-1) at 1:30 p.m. in pool play.
On the opposite side of the 5A bracket are No. 2 seed Maize South (35-3), No. 3 St. James Academy (32-4), No. 6 Lansing (28-8) and No. 7 seed St. Thomas Aquinas (27-8).
The top two finishers in both pools willl advance to Saturday's 9 a.m. semifinals, followed by the championship and third-place matches.
Brooklyn Gormley, one of just two seniors on the Seaman roster along with Taylin Stallbaumer, agreed with Dowling that the Vikings have to set their sights high this weekend.
"I think we just can't be satisfied with getting top two on the first day,'' Gormley said. "I think we have to go into both days with that fire and give it our all.''
Of Seaman's six losses, five came against teams that are in state tournaments in Kansas while the Vikings have eight wins against teams that are headed to state.
Seaman is one of three of last season's 5A semifinalists that are back in the field this weekend, including state champ St. James Aquinas and runnerup St. James Academy.
A year ago Seaman sandwiched pool victories over Maize South and Lansing around a loss to St. James to finish second in its pool.
The Vikings pushed eventual champion Aquinas to three sets in a semifinal loss before dropping the third-place match to Hutchinson.
CLASS 5A STATE VOLLEYBALL
At Tony's Pizza Events Center, Salina
FRIDAY POOL PLAY
Pool I (Court A)
8:30 a.m. -- Seaman (4: 33-6) vs. Spring Hill (5: 31-8).
9:30 -- Andover Central (1: 38-1) vs. Andover (8: 29-9).
10:30 -- Seaman vs. Andover.
11:30 -- Andover Central vs. Spring Hill.
12:30 p.m. -- Spring Hill vs. Andover
1:30 -- Andover Central vs. Seaman.
Pool II (Court B)
8:30 a.m. -- St. James Academy (3: 32-4) vs. Lansing (6: 28-8).
9:30 -- Maize South (2: 35-3) vs. St. Thomas Aquinas (7: 27-8).
10:30 -- St. James Academy vs. St. Thomas Aquinas.
11:30 -- Maize South vs. Lansing.
12:30 p.m. -- Lansing vs. St. Thomas Aquinas.
1:30 -- Maize South vs. St. James Academy.
9 a.m. -- Semifinals
(Consolation and championship matches will begin 25 minutes after last semifinal has concluded)