GREAT BEND HIGH SCHOOL
League: Western Athletic Conference
2013 season record: 29-12
2013 WAC record: 6-2
Head coach: Kelsey Perry (entering seventh season)
Assistant coach: Melissa Watson
Head JV coach: Natalie Boss
Head "C" team coach: Andrea Maxwell
Returning letter winners: Morgan Kottas (JR), Regan Unruh (SR), Dakota Sanders (SR)
2 Kendal Sell DS Soph.
3 Lauren Welsch RS Jr.
4 Carly Dreiling OH Soph.
5 Kaylan Lagerman OH Jr.
6 Dakota Sanders S/DS Sr.
7 Brittnee Barber S Jr.
8 Kaily Griffith DS Soph.
9 Morgan Kottas OH Jr.
10 Keely Ireland DS/S Soph.
11 Peyton Burkhart MB Sr.
12 Lindsay Leuenburger DS Sr.
14 Regan Unruh OH Sr.
15 Taylor Hommertzheim RS Soph.
16 Brooklyn Burkhart RS/S/OH Soph.
17 Baleigh Fry RS Fr.
18 Kate Warren RS/MB Soph.
19 Sidney Meitner OH Fr.
20 Sarah Mauler DS Jr.
21 Braylin Bretz MB Sr.
22 Katy Jerke S/DS Jr.
23 Taylor Vratil DS Jr.
24 Cameron Dunekack MB Fr.
25 Baily Beck OH/RS Fr.
26 Carly Brack MB/OH Fr.
27 Olivia Urban S Fr.
28 Kalyn Blessing MB Jr.
1 Sheridan Beaumont S
2 Kelsie Naab OH/MB
3 Shay Brown MB
10 Alyssia Garcia DS/OH
11 Carly Brack MB/OH
12 Hunter Ruppe OH
14 Esmeraldo Delgadillo DS
15 Maggie Hillman RS
20 Piper Libeer MB
21 Lacora Bryant MB/OH
22 Brittney Birzer MB/OH
23 Sidney Meitner OH
Sept. 4 — At Garden City, 4 p.m.
Sept. 9 — At Dodge City, 4 p.m.
Sept. 13 — At Scott City (JV), 9 a.m.
Sept. 15 — RUSSELL/SMOKY VALLEY, 5 p.m.
Sept. 18 — GARDEN PLAIN/CHENEY/ROSE HILL, 5 p.m.
Sept. 20 — At Salina Central (JV), 9 a.m.
Sept. 25 — At Hutchinson, 5 p.m.
Sept. 27 — At Tonganoxie, 8 a.m.
Sept. 27 — GREAT BEND JV INVITATIONAL, 9 a.m.
Oct. 4 — GREAT BEND VARISTY INVITATIONAL, 9 a.m.
Oct. 7 — GODDARD EISENHOWER/ CAMPUS, 5 p.m.
Oct. 9 — At Hillsboro, 5 p.m.
Oct. 14 — At Phillipsburg, 5 p.m.
Oct. 16 — At Dodge City JV, 4 p.m.
Oct. 18 — At WAC tournament in Garden City, 10 a.m.
Oct. 21 — At Hoisington, 4 p.m.
HOME MATCHES IN ALL CAPS
Sept. 1 — At Garden City, 4 p.m.
Sept. 4 — HAYS/PRATT/LARNED, 4 p.m.
Sept. 9 — At Medicine Lodge, 5 p.m.
Sept. 11 — At Hays, 4 p.m.
Sept. 18 — At Hoisington, 4 p.m.
Sept. 20 — At Hoisington Classic, 9 a.m.
Sept. 25 — At Salina South, 5 p.m.
Oct. 6 — GARDEN/ELLINWOOD/HOISINGTON, 4 p.m.
Oct. 9 — At Dodge City, 4 p.m.
Oct. 14 — At Dodge City, 4 p.m.
HOME MATCHES IN ALL CAPS
It’s a new year for the Great Bend High School volleyball team.
The Lady Panthers were sitting pretty with seven seniors this time last year, but now they’ve graduated their starters and are looking for new faces to step up.
“We’ll call it a reloading year,” GBHS head coach Kelsey Perry said. “We’re telling them that Garden City isn’t the end of our season, it’s the beginning. It’s October that’s the important part of our season.”
Great Bend’s athletes are working to be part of the new group.
“We’re working really, really hard at practice,” Perry said. “We have a lot of positions open, so there are a lot of kids fighting for those positions.”
Perry said she likes what she’s been seeing so far.
“One thing we’ve really noticed is their chemistry,” Perry said. “They’re finding a way to play together, and they’ve been great teammates so far.
“We’ve got a lot of fundamental work to do and then it’ll get better every day.”
Still, Great Bend lost a lot of talent after the 2013 season, which ended with a trip to the Class 5A State Tournament.
“We had seven seniors graduate,” Perry said. “Three of them are playing college volleyball and three track. It’s a really good class to see leave, but we’ve had a lot of kids waiting to fill those spots, biding their time.
“They’ve been working really hard and this year will be there chance.”
The trip to state has led to higher expectations.
“The expectation is very high,” Perry said. “You know, we only have three kids who experienced that last year. With them and coaches, that’s definitely the expectation, and hopefully, we’re instilling that in the rest of the girls.
“Even the freshmen came and watched us at state, so they know what it takes. They just have to get to that level.”
Open positions are slowly being filled in.
“Brittnee Barber will come in as a setter,” Perry said. “Dakota Sanders, who has been a (defensive specialist) for us in the past is going to set.
“Tarynn (Stueder) had that role for us and Dakota knew if she wanted to play, she’d need to switch around.”
There are two returning starters for the Lady Panthers.
“We still have Morgan (Kottas) and Regan (Unruh) back,” Perry said. “We’ve got two middles, seniors, Braylin Bretz and Peyton Burkhart. It’s just seeing who’s going to click together.”
It’s hard to replace the size Great Bend loss, though.
“We drop a lot in height, which is really big in volleyball,” Perry said. “So we’re waiting to see. We either have to do really well in offense or really good in defense.
“We’re still waiting to see which part of our game is going to step up.”
Perry said that right now, all areas of the game are improving.
“I’ve definitely seen, well they work so hard to get better, so I’ve every part of our game get better,” Perry said. “Our serving’s getting better. Our passing’s getting better.
“It’s really tough at the varsity level and we just want, every match, to see ourselves getting better.”