Lady Buffs volleyball continue dominance over WAC opponents

LADY BUFFS VOLLEYBALL: Friday, Sept. 4, 2020

Even with a mostly new starting lineup and roster, the Garden City Lady Buffs volleyball team continued its mastery over its Western Athletic Conference opponents in a triangular home Senior Night celebration at The Garden on Thursday, Sept. 3.

After struggling to a 1-5 record to begin the season on the road against some top Class 5A opponents, the Lady Buffs welcomed the home court advantage with fans to first drop Great Bend in straight sets, 25-17, 25-20, and then holding off a valiant Liberal effort in three sets, winning the first set, 25-22, dropping the second set by the same score and then rallying from a 16-20 deficit to squeak out a 27-25 dramatic victory in the third and deciding set.

By all rights, it was the best the Lady Buffs had played in the first week of the regular season and it couldn’t have at a better time.

“This was such a big night for us,” said senior McKenna Jagels, who has been one of the early season bright spots for coach Trista Bailey. “A lot of us girls have worked hard through freshman and junior varsity years to finally have a chance to play varsity, so this is very rewarding. The crowd was great and it just feels good to get some wins.”

In the opening match, the Lady Buffs led throughout against Great Bend, owning leads of 12-8, 16-10 and 22-13 before closing out it with an eight-point margin. In the second set, they dominated early, leading 23-14 before holding off a Great Bend rally to win by five points.

The Liberal match was another story as the teams battled back and forth in all three sets. The Lady Buffs led most of the first set to hang on for the 3-point win but then trailed throughout the second set, at once down 14-24 before making a big rally to close to 22-24 but then the Lady Redskins managed to notch the winning point.

It was the third and deciding set that left everyone breathless at the end as Liberal took a 12-8 lead midway through and was ahead 20-16 before the Buffs tied the score at 21. It was tied at 23, 24 and 25 before Julie Calzonetti scored a big kill and then the frontline of the Buffs blocked a shot by Liberal and the ball fell to the floor, securing the dramatic win for the Buffs.

The two wins improved the Buffs’ record to 3-5.

“It was good to see us get some positive results for a change because this group has worked very hard,” Bailey said of her team which has nine seniors, but only three with any varsity experience. “We’ve played more matches in the first week than usual, so it’s nice to get these two wins against league schools.”

The Lady Buffs are idle now until Sept. 17 when they travel to Ulysses for a quadrangular.

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