By Jim Misunas
ROSE HILL — Three smaller-class ranked teams proved too much for Class 5A Great Bend as the Panther volleyball team lost to No. 1 3A Cheney 25-17- 25-8, No. 8 4A Rose Hill 25-12, 25-15 and No. 5 3A Garden Plain 27-25, 26-24.
“We have the players and the tools to get big wins and compete at a tougher level, but we have to get the mental side figured out,” said Great Bend coach Kelsey Perry. “This was the toughest quad that we will see this year so it is nice to get that behind us and start moving forward.”
Junior libero Baylee Beck broke the Great Bend High School career defensive digs record. Beck’s 784 digs with a season and a half left broke the prvious record of 754 held by Kylee Spray.
Beck had 30 digs. Camryn Dunekack and Kate Warren each had 14 kills. Jenna Mauler and Alyssa Herter each dished out 20 assists.
Slow starts continued to hound the Panthers starting with Garden Plain.
“We started very sluggish again tonight,” said Perry. “After falling behind quickly against Garden Plain we pulled together to take the lead but couldn’t finish the last five points. This was the case the second set. Costly errors hurt us in the opening match.”
Rose Hill (3-0) beat Cheney (2-1) 26-24, 26-24; and Garden Plain 25-22, 25-18. Cheney beat Garden Plain 25-22, 25-13.
“Against Cheney, we never got in a good groove. We struggled to put points together,” Perry said. “Rose Hill tplayed us at the net. We couldn’t get past their block or defend their strong hitters. Tonight we struggled to get some energy and emotion on the court.”
The junior varsity won one match Thursday to improve to 5-6. They will also play at home Thursday. The Panthers will host the Great bend junior varsity tournament Sept. 24.
The C-team was added two wins at Pratt Thursdayfor two more wins to their successful season going 2-0.
Great Bend returns home Thursday for the of the Panthers’ school nights. Students and a parent from Lincoln Elementary, Holy Family, Eisenhower, and the Great Bend Middle School receive free admission. Thursday will feature a community mentor recognition before the 7 p.m. match. Oct. 11 will feature Park, Jefferson and Riley elementary schools, and CKCA Night.
“We are looking forward to getting in front of a big crowd cheering for the Panthers,” Perry said.
GREAT BEND STATISTICS
3-game stats—Baylee Beck, 30 digs, assist; Camryn Dunekack, 14 kills, 3 blocks, 2 aces, 23 digs; Baleigh Fry, kill, 3 digs; Alyssa Herter, 2 blocks, ace, 3 digs, 20 assists; Jenna Mauler, 3 kills, 20 assists, 24 digs; Sidney Meitner, 4 kills, 2 blocks, 3 digs; Olivia Mull, 6 kills, 3 digs; Kendal Sell, 7 digs; Kate Warren, 14 kills, 7 blocks, 7 digs; Trista Wilt, 5 kills, 7 blocks, stuff block, 4 digs