GARDEN PLAIN— In three matches against three state-ranked teams the Great Bend volleyball Panthers came up short falling in two-set decisions Thursday to undefeated Garden Plain (25-12), Rose Hill (25-15, 25-19) and Cheney ((25-19, 25-22).
Cameron Dunekack and Kaylan Lagerman recorded seven kills each with help from Brittnee Barber who posted 13 assists in the opening effort against Garden Plain. Sophomore libero Bayle Beck reached double figures with her 17 digs.
“They run a very fast-tempo offense,” said coach Kelsey Perry. “We played well against them and had minimal errors but couldn’t put runs together. They are a very aggressive team and are solid at all positions. We attacked well but their defense didn’t let much hit the floor. The ladies battled back the second match but couldn’t get over the hump.”
Kate Warren scored a team high seven kills as the Panthers struggled to gain momentum in the loss to Rose Hill. Barber contributed 11 assists with eight digs coming from Beck who also added three aces in the effort.
“We quickly fell behind in the first set,” said Perry of the match against Rose Hill. “We made quite a few errors to start the match and that is not easy to recover from. Rose Hill is a very big team. They have a strong front row that made it difficult for us to get in a rhythm.”
In the final match against Cheney Dunekack recorded six kills and a pair of aces while Beck notched 12 digs to lead the defense.
The JV also suffered three setbacks at Garden Plain. As with the varsity injuries are also nagging the junior varsity squad.
“We have played four matches in a row against ranked teams,” Perry said. “The girls have battled extremely hard and never quit. We are capable of getting the big wins. We have got to get healthy to see what we are fully capable of doing.”
Great Bend will compete at Goddard on Thursday before heading to the Tonganoxie Invitational next Saturday.