In the fall, Great Bend High School senior Kylee Spray was aiding the Lady Panthers volleyball team to a Class 5A state tournament berth from her position of libero.
Half a year later, Spray has signed to continue her volleyball career at Barton Community College.
“After out great high school season, I just couldn’t give up volleyball yet,” Spray said, “and Barton was a great choice. It was local, and just a great choice to go to.”
Spray said she had options, but felt like Barton was the best fit.
“I had a couple of options, but I chose Barton because I liked the coaches and the girls that played,” Spray said.
Most important thing for Spray was to be able to get out and play again.
“It’s very exciting (to play at the next level),” Spray said. “I’m looking forward to just getting back out on the volleyball court and playing the game. I just can’t give it up yet.”
That works out just fine for Barton head coach Phil Shoemaker, who said her high school career merited her recruitment.
“You can’t draw a 100 percent correlation, but we felt she was a huge factor in the success that the Great Bend team has enjoyed, especially this season,” Shoemaker said. “Obviously, all the seniors were critical components, but she was a big part of it. She’s been recognized as being outstanding at the high school level.”
Great Bend went 0-3 in pool play at the state tournament, but Spray said it was still her highlight of her career.
Spray was a two-time All-Western Athletic Conference first-team player, earning letters in three of her four years of high school.
In her senior season, she was first in digs (272), first in serve-receive (352), third in aces (15) and fourth in serving percentage (93 percent).
Spray holds single-season high school records in digs with 393, passing average at 2.56 and passing attempts at 698.
Spray holds three high school career records as well in digs (782), passing average (2.44) and passing attempts (1,422).
“We’ve had enough interaction with her that we know she’s just a quality person, that she’s going to bring nothing but good to the team,” Shoemaker said. “She’s got a good work ethic. She’s a person of great character. She’s really what you want in a student athlete.
“She’s going to grow. She’s going to mature. She’s going to get 1,000 percent better, and it’s because of how she does things. We thought she was kind of a no-brainer.”