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Panthers battle hard, fall in sub-state
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Great Bend High School senior Sidney Meitner goes up to spike the volleyball against Maize South during a Class 5A sub-state tournament on Saturday in Great Bend. - photo by RUSSELL EDEM Great Bend Tribune

The Great Bend Panthers lost to Maize South 25-21, 25-11 in Saturday’s 5A volleyball substate semifinal. Wichita Carroll beat Maize South 19-25, 25-21, 25-16 in the 5A finals.
Baylee Beck had eight digs and Jenna Mauler had six assists and six digs. Sidney Meitner had seven kills and four digs.
Great Bend Coach Kelsey Perry was pleased the Panthers battled with their best effort.
“We knew Maize South was really good,” Perry said. “We asked our team was to have no regrets today. They definitely stepped up and played tremendous. The first set was the best I have seen us play this season. We made some unbelievable hustle plays to keep the ball alive and then finished and won those points. We showed that it didn’t matter our size match up at the net and we kept going at them. That kept us close, but we just couldn’t pull it out at the end of the first set.”
The second set the Panthers were caught in one serve rotation and fell behind by five points.
“That proved to be too much to come back from,” Perry said.
Perry said the team started really strong in September, but had a three week span of continuous illnesses that just never allowed the team to play to its potential.
“We will see five seniors move on and that will be tough because they all had big roles on our team,” Perry said.
Seniors are, Middle Blockers Trista Wilt and Hunter Ruppe. Outside Hitter Sidney Meitner. Defensive Specialist Olivia Urban. Liberal Baylee Beck, and manager Heaven Yager.
“The exciting thing is return two year starters In sophomores Jenna Mauler, Alyssa Herter, and Olivia Mull. Junior Kaylee Unruh. Sophomore Aleah Urban who became a big hitter for us this season. And sophomore Ryen Wilkens who was injured this season but will play a vital role in our line up next fall. Freshmen Sydney Unruh played varsity all season and freshmen Rachel Panzer and Candice Smith both were on the varsity court thorugh out the season. It’s always hard to see the season in end, but the experience we will have coming back is promising.”

Aleah Urban: 4 kills, 1 ace, 1 dig
Baylee Beck: 8 digs; Kaylee Unruh: 3 digs; Jenna Mauler: 6 assists, 6 digs; Sidney Meitner: 7 kills, 4 digs; Olivia Urban: 3 digs; Rachel Panzer: 1 kill, 1 dig; Sydney Unruh: 8 digs; Alyssa Herter: 6 assists, 1 dig; Trista Wilt: 2 stuff blocks

At Great Bend
Goddard def. Salina South 25-6, 25-13; Goddard-Eisenhower def. Liberal 25-9, 25-22; Bishop Carroll def. Salina Central 25-8, 25-23; Maize South def. Great Bend

Goddard def. Goddard-Eisenhower 25-13, 25-19; Bishop Carroll def. Maize South 19-25, 25-21, 25-16