GARDEN CITY— Morgan Kottas and Camryn Dunekack led the effort with eight and six kills while setter Brittnee Barber supplied 13 assists as the Great Bend volleyball team dropped their season opening match to Garden City in three sets. The Panthers then fell in two straight to Liberal to begin the 2015 slate at 0-2.
The Panthers committed 30 hitting errors against the Buffaloes during Thursday’s triangular. Great Bend picked up a win in the opening set but dropped the next two. The Panthers lost their momentum following a 5-0 run in the final set against Garden City as the Buffaloes went on to win the match, 2-1.
“We expected errors our first night out and Garden had already played seven matches,” said coach Kelsey Perry. “In the end we just didn’t have that needed drive to finish strong even though we had a good run to begin the third set.”
In the match against Garden City, Baylee Beck paced the defense with 23 digs while Kate Blessing added a team best four blocks in the front court. Dunekack saddled four aces in the effort.
Great Bend suffered low offensive output in their match with Liberal. Dunekack and Blessing combined for nine kills. Beck was the leading defender with 12 digs while Barber contributed 12 assists.
“We were very inconsistent against Liberal,” said Perry. “We reduced our errors but again couldn’t put strong enough runs together.”
“We were disappointed with our night but we have so much confidence in this team that we can’t wait to get on the court again,” Perry said. “It’s tough opening against teams that have already played some matches but the girls have nothing to hang their heads about.”
The Panthers will have a rematch with Garden City and Liberal at this year’s WAC tournament on October 17.
In other high school action from Thursday the Panther JV, fighting off early season injuries, went 0-2 following their matches with Garden City and Liberal. Meanwhile the freshmen team started at 0-2 at Garden last week but picked up a win at Larned Thursday.
The Panthers will face Dodge City on the road on Tuesday.
Match stats: Garden City
Brittnee Barber-13 assists, 1 kill, 8 digs, 3 aces
Baylee Beck-3 assists, 1 ace, 23 digs
Kalyn Blessing-1 dig, 2 blocks,1 kill
Camryn Dunekack-6 kills, 4 aces, 3 digs
Katy Jerke-2 digs
Morgan Kottas-8 digs, 1block, 8 kills
Kaylan Lagerman-2 kills
Sarah Mauler-4 digs
Kate Blessing-2 kills, 4 blocks, 3 digs
Match stats: Liberal
Barber-8 digs,2 kills, 12 assists
Blessing-4 kills, 1block
Dunekack-5 kills,1 dig
Beck-3 aces, 12 digs, 1kill, 3 assists
Jerke-1 area, 1 dig, 2 assists
Kottas-1 ace, 5 digs, 8 kills
Kendal Sell-1 dig
Warren-1 dig, 3 kills