GARDEN CITY — The Great Bend Middle School 8th-grade volleyball team finished runner-up in the Western Athletic Conference Volleyball Tournament at Horace Good Middle School.
“As a first-year coach, I couldn’t have asked for a better group of athletes,” said Great Bend coach Michelle Barber. “They have an amazing work ethic and are leaders on-and-off the court. I’m so excited to see what the future holds for these girls the next four years. I hope they keep setting the bar high for those who follow in their footsteps.”
The 8th-graders (5-2) were seeded third behind Horace Good (7-0) and Liberal West (6-1).
After beating No. 6 seed Liberal South 25-8, 28-26, the Lady Panthers faced rival Liberal West. After winning the first set 28-26 the Panthers dropped the second set 25-13. They rallied for a 15-10 victory to advance to championship match against Horace Good.
The Panthers pushed Horace Good 26-24 in the second set after losing 25-17.
“We seemed to have a mental block when it came to Horace Good,” Barber said. “We ended 21-6 and four losses were to Horace Good.”
The B team (3-4) were seeded fifth and started against No. 4 seed Liberal South. The Lady Panthers downed Liberal South 25-20, 25-13 and played No. 1 seed Horace Good, which beat the Panthers 25-16, 25-14
“The girls knew we needed to win against Liberal South and came out to play.” said coach Morgan Hoffman.
The B team ended with a 15-12 record after losing 25-18, 25-16 to No. 3 seed Liberal West.
“The girls played strong, we just couldn’t get into our rhythm,” Hoffman said. “These girls worked hard all year and have improved so much. It’s been a lot of fun coaching them this year.”