In the Great Bend High School volleyball intrasquad scrimmage at Panther Fieldhouse on Friday night, Lady Panthers head coach Kelsey Perry said she was looking to see how her team’s confidence level would react to a crowd.
The Lady Panthers seemed unfazed as the varsity swept the junior varsity, 25-14, 25-14.
“We’re looking to see just how we can function in front of a crowd, No. 1, and just the competitive level,” Perry said. “Having some consequence or something to work for. You could see we have a lot of freshmen that play JV this year, and they were nervous. That’s expected. Our older kids, we didn’t have that nerves, whereas last year our varsity was very nervous because we were young.
“This year, I feel like our confidence level was big. That was something that I looked for. We just have to get that clicking, get everything put together in one piece and we’ll get rolling.”
Perry mentioned that it was important for Great Bend to show the community what it can do to boost crowds during the regular season.
“We told our girls that we don’t get to play at home very often, I think three times (on varsity),” Perry said. “If you want some people to come out and support you, tonight is the night you got to show them that its worth coming out and watching.
“We have a great team that’s very excited. They want to win all the time. They get into it and get excited.”
Perry said she was pleased with the way her team played as a unit, even without 5-foot-11 junior Brenna Haines, who sat out the exhibition with a high-ankle sprain, but figures to be ready to go this week, according to Perry.
“We just see a difference in team chemistry with our varsity, and really for our team combined,” Perry said. “We did some things that we know for Tuesday we have to do a lot better. Our serving is the No. 1 key. Varsity can miss about two serves to be successful. We are not at that point, but we’ll get there.
“Obviously, things will be different when we get Brenna back in there, which we hope will happen soon. I thought the girls did very well working together even without having Brenna in there.”
Elizabeth Swigart, a 5-8 senior, led the Lady Panthers with six kills during the scrimmage. Junior defensive specialist Selam Ball had a team-leading four digs.
“We’re not concerned about how we’re doing on the court,” Perry said. “We know we can win, and we just have to put it together Tuesday night. Hopefully, we can get some wins out of it.”
Great Bend travels to Maize for a triangular with Salina South and the host school on Tuesday night to start the season. The matches start at 5.