Great Bend’s Baylee Beck earned Defensive Player of the Great Bend Volleyball Invitational Saturday for the third consecutive year. Panther teammate Jenna Mauler was named on the All-Tournament Team.
Great Bend (7-12) finished the day with a 1-4 record, beating St. John 25-26, 25-22, but losing to champion Hays High 25-20, 25-22; runner-up Phillipsburg 25-22, 23-25, 25-21 in hard-fought match; Salina Central 25-23, 25-16; Hutchinson 27-25, 25-22.
Hays High (5-0) won the round-robin behind Most Valuable Player Isiah Nunnery and all-tournament Jaycee Dale. Phillipsburg (4-1) placed runner-up.
The Panthers started the day with a victory against St. John and showed strong defense all day. Beck had 73 digs and Sydney Unruh 67 digs.
“We started the day really well against St. John. Our defense was exceptional,” said Great Bend coach Kelsey Perry. “They made some amazing plays, and really stood out. Baylee Beck, Sydney Unruh, Olivia Urban, and Kaylee Unruh were outstanding all day. As a team we had 292 digs. That is a huge amount of defensive plays. It shows us that our back row is very consistent and playing at an extremely high level right now.”
Perry said the Panthers’ scrapp defense kept them competitive.
“I’m very proud of the hustle and scrappiness we have,” she said. “Hopefully we will get everything clicking heading into the final stretch, which is when we need to play our best.”
The Panthers need to attack better and finish points.
“With our defense playing that well, we just need our hitters to get confidence and find a way to put balls away,” she said. “We had a lot of aces, but we also had a large number of serving errors, and many of those were in critical point situations.”
The Panthers were pressured into hitting errors.
“We had 122 hitting errors with only 93 kills, which puts our hitting percentage at a negative number,” Perry said. “That is obviously the part of our game that is hindering us. We didn’t have any offense to get use momentum. We are struggling on the front row with our attacking and blocking. We worked on that all week and it didn’t come full circle for us. Its a mental game and we mentally beat ourselves today.”
The Panthers return to action Tuesday at Haysville against Campus and Goddard Eisenhower.
“We have to quickly get some things fixed, as we had to Campus on Tuesday to play them and a very tough Goddard Eisenhower team.”
Aleah Urban - 19 Kills, 1 Stuff Block, 1 Ace, 11 Digs; Baylee Beck - 2 Kills, 6 Aces, 2 Assists, 73 Digs; Kaylee Unruh - 14 Digs; Jenna Mauler - 5 Kills, 3 Aces, 1 Stuff Block, 51 Assists, 53 Digs; Sidney Meitner - 18 Kills, 1 Ace, 21 Digs; Olivia Mull - 21 Kills, 2 Stuff Blocks, 5 Digs; Olivia Urban - 1 Kill, 1 Assist, 24 Digs; Rachel Panzer - 7 Kills, 1 stuff block, 2 Digs; Alyssa Herter - 2 Kills, 11 Aces, 36 Assists, 11 Digs; Sydney Unruh - 6 Aces, 67 Digs; Trista Wilt - 18 Kills, 2 Stuff Blocks, 11 Digs
GREAT BEND INVITATIONAL
1st—Hays High (5-0); 2nd –Phillipsburg (4-1); 3rd –Hutchinson High (3-2); 4th –Salina Central (1-4); 5th –Great Bend (1-4); 6th –St. John (0-5)
Hays def. Great Bend, 25-20, 25-22; Hays def. St. John, 25-15, 25-18; Hays def. Salina Central, 25-18, 25-22; Hays def. Hutchinson, 23-25, 25-22, 26-24; Hays def. Phillipsburg, 24-2, 27-25, 25-11
Phillipsburg def. Great Bend, 25-22, 23-25, 25-21; Phillipsburg def. Hutchinson, 20-25, 25-21, 28-26; Phillipsburg def. Salina Central, 25-28, 25-23; Phillipsburg def. St. John, 25-21, 25-15
Hutchinson def. Great Bend, 27-25, 25-22; Hutchinson def. Salina Central, 25-15, 25-20; Hutchinson def. St. John, 25-27, 25-10
Salina Central def. Great Bend, 25-23, 25-16; Salina Central def. St. John, 19-25, 25-9, 25-19; Great Bend def. St. John, 25-16, 25-22
MVP—Tasiah Nunnery, Hays High
Defensive Player—Baylee Beck, Great Bend
Ashley Babcock, Phillipsburg; Peyton Allen, Hutchinson; Jaycee Dale, Hays; Morgan Armbrust, Hutchinson; Jenna Mauler, Great Bend; Elisa Backes, Salina Central