Camryn Dunekack combined for 13 kills, 15 digs and three aces as the Great Bend volleyball team split its home opening triangular Monday.
The Panthers opened with a 25-17, 25-9 victory over Scott City then fell in a pair of sets to state-ranked Smoky Valley, 25-21, 25-19.
“We served the ball very well against Scott City,” said coach Kelsey Perry. “But we also missed a lot of serves in this match. One focus we have been stressing is the importance of serve and serve receive. By serving so aggressively we took their offensive threats away.”
Dunekack and Kaylan Lagerman collected six kills each in the victory while Sidney Meitner added five. Setter Brittnee Barber provided 18 assists. Dunekack recorded a team high nine digs to pace the defense while libero Baylee Beck was perfect in service receptions.
Dunekack supplied seven kills and six digs in the loss to eighth-ranked Smoky Valley (4A) while Barber notched 15 assists. Kate Warren led the battle at the top of the net with seven blocks. Defensively Beck posted a team high 10 digs. Barber added six scoops while Sarah Mauler posted four.
“This match was by far the hardest fought match we have played this season,” said Perry. “We got behind quickly with several hitting errors and most teams would have shut down but we battled back to within one.”
In JV action Monday Great Bend split two matches defeating Scott City before falling to Smoky Valley. The Panther JV will compete at Garden Plain Thursday then head to the Salina Central Tournament on Saturday.
The GBHS freshmen team will host a quad in the Panther gym on Thursday beginning at 4:00 pm then play Saturday in the Hoisington Tournament.
“We may not have gotten the win we wanted tonight against Smoky Valley but we are starting to see the pieces coming together and that is a good sight and very exciting,” Perry said. “We have several players who are starting to find their groove and becoming consistent.”
The Great Bend varsity will face three more ranked teams at Thursday’s Garden Plain Tournament. Great Bend will take on seventh-ranked, 3A Garden Plain to start Thursday’s tournament before battling sixth-ranked, 4A Rose Hill. The Panthers will close out the tournament against ninth-ranked Cheney out of class 3A.
“We know our schedule is grueling,” said Perry. “But we were great tonight and hope to carry that over to Thursday.”
MATCH STATS: Scott City
Beck-1 ace, 2 digs. Perfect serve receive
Barber- 1 ace, 1 dig, 18 assists
Blessing- 4 kills, 1 block
Dunekack- 6 kills, 3 aces, 9 digs
Jerke- 1 assist
Lagerman- 6 kills
Mauler- 1 dig
Warren- 2 aces, 1 dig, 3 kills
Meitner- 2 digs, 5 kills
MATCH STATS: Smoky Valley
Barber- 15 assists. 2 aces, 6 digs
Beck- 1 kill, 1 ace, 10 digs
Blessing- 1 kill, 1 dig, 1 block
Dunekack- 6 digs, 7 kills, 1 block
Jerke- 2 digs
Lagerman- 2 blocks
Mauler- 4 digs
Warren- 3 kills, 7 blocks, 1 ace. 1 dig
Meitner- 2 kills, 1 ace