LIBERAL — There were highs and lows throughout on Saturday afternoon at the Western Athletic Conference volleyball championships.
Great Bend High School came out strong and beat Dodge City, 25-17, 22-25, 25-17, before the Lady Panthers dropped a 25-17, 25-17 decision to Garden City.
In Match 3, Great Bend downed arch-rival Hays, 25-23, 25-20, and then lost to host Liberal, 25-15, 25-20, finishing in third place out of five teams.
Garden City ran the table, capping its conference championship run after beating Liberal in the title match to finish 4-0.
“We were pleased to get the first win against Dodge City because we did not know much about them,” Great Bend head coach Kelsey Perry said of her team’s opening match of the day. “We usually never see them until this tournament, so that is always a tough match.
“Against Garden City, we just ran into a wall against their front row. With six-footers across their front row, it is difficult to get kills. They are a good-blocking team and we couldn’t get above their block.”
After coming through wins in back-to-back sets against Hays, Liberal was the Lady Panthers’ next opponent.
“After beating Hays we knew we were probably going to be facing Liberal for the second-place match,” Perry said.
Host Liberal won in two sets, putting a damper on an otherwise successful tourney for the Lady Panthers.
“We faced Liberal and we were not in sync,” Perry said. “We didn’t make them have to work very hard to beat us. We got down and stayed there. It is too hard to get over that hump against a good team like Liberal.
“We are 1-1 against Liberal this season, and will probably be facing them in the first round of regionals on Saturday in Newton. We want to be at our best on Saturday. We aren’t 17-17 this week. Everybody is 0-0 going into regionals.”
Perry singled out her veteran players for standing out throughout the matches.
“Brenna Haines and Bonny Boultinghouse had a terrific day,” Perry said. “They were very consistent for us in every match. All our players had good moments throughout the day but we didn’t string enough of those together to get the wins we wanted.
“Liz Barber came in and set for us against Hays and Liberal and did a good job. When we put all our pieces together, we are really good and that is our goal this week in practice.”
— Mack McClure
HIGH SCHOOL VOLLEYBALL
Western Athletic Conference
Great Bend results
GBHS def. Dodge City, 25-17, 22-25, 25-17
Garden City def. GBHS 17-25, 17-25
GBHS def. Hays, 25-23, 25-20
Liberal def. GBHS, 25-15, 25-20
Weekend GBHS statistics
Brenna Haines — 30 kills, 16 blocks, 14 digs
Bonny Boultinghouse — 16 kills, 29 digs, 6 aces, 3 blocks
Kaylie Doll — 8 kills, 23 digs, 1 block, 2 assists, 1 ace
Kelsie Doll — 5 Kills, 14 digs, 2 blocks, 1 ace
Hannah Hildebrand — 13 kills, 8 blocks, 7 digs
Kylee Spray — 38 digs, 2 aces
Liz Barber — 18 assists, 9 digs, 3 aces
Tarynn Stueder — 8 kills, 18 digs, 6 blocks, 48 assists, 10 aces
Selam Ball — 10 digs
Taylor Fry — 2 kills