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Great Bend falls in 5A sub-state tournament
spt mm Nicole Reiter
Nicole Reiter, one of seven seniors for Great Bend High School, sets the volleyball during the Class 5A sub-state tournament on Saturday at the GBHS Fieldhouse. - photo by Mack McClure, Great Bend Tribune

Class 5A Sub-State
Volleyball Tournament
At Great Bend
GBHS Fieldhouse
Saturday’s results

First round
No. 1 seed Valley Center 2, No. 8 Great Bend 0 (25-12, 25-12)
No. 4 McPherson 2, No. 5 Salina South 0 (25-14, 25-8)
No. 2 Newton 2, No. 7 Salina Central 0 (25-14, 25-8)
No. 3 Liberal 2, No. 6 Hays 0 (25-22, 25-21

Second round
No. 4 seed McPherson 2, No. 1 Valley Center 1 (18-25, 25-19, 25-17)
No. 2 seed Newton 2, No. 3 Liberal 0 (25-15, 25-11)

McPherson (28-13 overall) and Newton (34-7) advance to Class 5A state tournament.

The one-day, single-elimination Class 5A sub-state volleyball tournament is a fleeting thing.
In just one match, a high school team’s hopes of advancing to the state tournament goes by the wayside.
For No. 8-seeded Great Bend, the Lady Panthers had the unenviable task of taking on top-seeded Valley Center in an opening-round match Saturday afternoon at the GBHS Fieldhouse.
Though they battled top-ranked Valley Center intensely, the Lady Panthers had their season end abruptly, falling in identical scores of 25-12, 25-12.
“We played really good,” GBHS head coach Kelsey Perry said, “for whom we were playing against. Our competition obviously had only lost three matches, so we were really proud of the girls and how they never quit.”
While Valley Center entered sub-state play with a 34-3 overall record, Great Bend closes its season at 8-25.
“They knew that we were going to have to play our very best,” Perry said of her team, “and have some help from Valley Center to not be on their game. It just didn’t turn out that way and with seven seniors, it’s hard. They were feeling it during the last couple points and they knew it was coming to an end and they tried to hold it together.”
It was the final match for GBHS seniors Emily Seiwert, Kaitlee Spray, Jennifer Allende, Ashley Boeger, Jordan Haney, Nicole Reiter and Morgan Fletchall.
The GBHS juniors, sophomores and freshmen gave each of the seniors roses as a send-off.
“They know that’s it,” Perry said, “so that’s the hard part, when it’s over. It’s hard for them, so we’ve all been there and understand that feeling.
“One of our juniors in the locker room said that she had never played with a better group of girls, win or lose, so that was big and that really helped the seniors. Our girls have a lot of character.”
Fletchall, like her teammates, wiped away tears in the aftermath, coming to the full realization that their high school volleyball careers were over.
“We gave advice to the juniors, saying that next year would be their year to do it and never be the eighth seed again because it’s really hard,” Fletchall said. “We played (Valley Center) at the very beginning of the season, so we played them in our opening match and our closing match.
“We did not play them very good at all in the first match and Coach Perry told us that we never gave up and she could tell that we really wanted it. That’s about all we could do.”