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Great Bend volleyball takes fifth at tough tourney

POSTED September 20, 2010 11:18 p.m.

 TOPEKA — The Great Bend High School volleyball team traveled to the capitol city on Saturday to take part in perhaps the Lady Panthers’ toughest competition of the season.
Great Bend finished 0-3 in fifth place, falling to Concordia, Topeka Hayden and Silver Lake. The Lady Panthers beat both Bishop Ward, out of Kansas City, Kan., and Wellsville.
“Topeka Hayden is by far the toughest place we play all season,” GBHS head coach Kelsey Perry said. “The level of play is very high and a very tough place to get wins.
“We knew our bracket was going to be tough with Topeka Hayden, Silver Lake and Concordia. They are all great volleyball teams who finish high in their classes each year. The other bracket was just as tough with Bishop Ward, Wellsville, St. Thomas Aquinas and Abilene.
The Lady Panthers went toe-to-toe with the opposition in pool play, according to Perry.
“I was very proud of how well we improved during each match,” she said. “We knew wins would be tough to come by so our goal was to work on specific areas of our game and we accomplished those goals.
Great Bend beat Ward in the first round of the consolation bracket.
Against Bishop Ward, Emily Seiwert led the team with eight kills, followed by Morgan Fletchall with seven and Liz Kutina and Rachel Harris both adding three apiece.
“Katelyn Henning led the back row with nine digs. Ashley Boeger was terrific at the net with seven blocks and five stuffs, along with Liz Kutina, who added three blocks,” said Perry of her team, which also had five aces.
“The Bishop Ward match was a great turning point for our team. The first game we didn’t commit any hitting errors, and that is a huge accomplishment. When you hit the ball that well you will get wins.”
In the consolation championships, Great Bend defeated Wellsville. Kutina led the team with five kills, followed by Seiwert with three and Harris and Fletchall added two apiece. Jennifer Allende had nine digs, Henning added six, and Kaitlee Spray had four.
The team compiled five blocks against Wellsville.
“The big advantage for us in this match was 11 aces,” Perry said. “Emily Seiwert had five aces and Allende and Fletchall both added three apiece. Our back row played extremely well against Wellsville.
“Spray, Henning, and Allende set up our offense with great passes and they kept every ball alive. We are serving the ball very well right now and our hitters are being smart at the net. Those are huge strides for our team and we look forward to continuing to improve.”

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