Coming up shy in gunning to advance to bracket play in their own tournament, the Great Bend HIgh School Lady Panthers volleyball team finished with a 1-2 record early Saturday at the GBHS Fieldhouse.
Great Bend finished off Ellsworth in three games, winning the match, 25-17, 24-26 and 25-23.
The big key in that match, according to Great Bend head coach Kelsey Perry, was attacking.
“Against Ellsworth, Ashley Boeger stepped up and was huge in the middle,” Perry said. “She was pounding the ball left and right. Jordan Haney also had some big hits.”
For the Lady Panthers (7-18), the triumph came in between falling to the smaller and bigger schools in the tournament — Class 1A top-ranked St. John, 25-20, 25-11, and a potent 6A Wichita Northwest team, 25-13, 25-14.
“They had some really good hitters,” Perry said of Northwest.
Because of early deadline restraints, the final results from bracket play and tournament finals were unavailable at presstime.
The Lady Panthers came away wanting more than what they achieved from their first home appearance of the season. Great Bend undoubtedly needs some of type of springboard to raise its level of play as it will be hosting the Western Athletic Conference tournament in two weeks and a Class 5A regional on Oct. 23.
“It is disappointing at home to come out and play that way and I think our girls felt that, too,” Perry said. “They were embarrassed at times, and other times they looked really good.
“Emily Seiwert, against St. John, had a great game. So did Rachel Harris. We played St. John very tough and the No. 1 (in 1A), and I was very proud of the girls. Ellsworth, in three games, it was rough, but we pulled out a win, so that was important. But Wichita Northwest just overpowered us. We couldn’t get anything going.”
Perry said Kaitlee Spray was unable to take part in the tournament.
“Our back row struggled today and we were missing Kaitlee Spray,” Perry said. “She was gone for family stuff, and she’s a big leader on the back row and I think we noticed that today that we didn’t have that leadership.
“We’ve got to have somebody else step up. We’ve just got to have that consistency, and hopefully, that will come in the next couple weeks because that’s all we’ve got.”