Buffs’ Roundup: Fisher, Sosa nab XC titles; Volleyball takes 3 at Pratt; Boys soccer falls to Liberal

Thursday, Sept. 19

CROSS COUNTRY

Senior Ethan Fisher and freshman Jocelyn Sosa captured individual titles on Thursday, Sept. 19, at the Hays Invitational which was contested over the Sand Plum layout in nearby Victoria.

Fisher won his race in a close battle with Dodge City’s Giovanni Valverde, winning a nail-biter with a time of 17:21.9 for the 5-K race to Valverde’s 17:22.3.

Santiago Nunez (17:44.3) and Brody Hoff (18:05.9) placed fifth and ninth, respectively, and that helped the Buffs edge Newton for the team title, 40 to 41 points. Austin Hess was 11th in 18:26.2 and Evan Gurrola 14th in 18:35.1. Also running for the Buffs were Devin Chappel, 17th in 18:53.6 and Kenji Craig, 24th in 19:24.6.

Sosa’s spectacular run came in a time of 20:43.6 to claim a first place finish by 27.8 seconds over Salina Central’s Kadyn Cobb (21:11.4) and that propelled the Lady Buffs to a third-place team finish with 56 points while Dodge City and Hays finished 1-2 with 48 and 50 points.

Kiera Hageman placed eighth for the Lady Buffs with a time of 22:11.7, Maria Balderas was 11th in 22:26.7, Ana Casados 17th with a mark of 22:50.0 and Kaety Kohlhorst 19th in 23:01.9. Destiny Avila placed 23rd in 24:01.1 and Kalia Aubauer was 289th in 24:34.0.

The Buffs will have nine days to prepare for one of their toughest races of the regular season, the Rim Rock Invitational at Lawrence, which also serves as the site for the Class 6A state meet later this fall. The Rim Rock will be on Sept. 28.

VOLLEYBALL

The Lady Buffs went on the road again on Thursday to Pratt and returned home with three more match wins to improve their season record to 7-0.

The No. 6-ranked Lady Buffs (Kansas Volleyball Assn.) stopped host Pratt in their first match by scores of 25-21, 25-5; then defeated Ulysses in straight sets, 25-10, 25-18, before ending the quad with a 25-18, 25-18 triumph over Western Athletic Conference foe Hays High.

“In our first set (Pratt) we really struggled to settle into our system,” said coach Trista Bailey. “We got better after settling in and thought we came up with great passes out of our serve-receive and were able to make adjustments on defense that led to more in-system opportunities.”

Senior Libero Kelbi Richter, who had 11 digs in the final match against Hays, also said the team improved throughout the three matches.

Senior Reagan Karlin led the team in kills with 30 in the three matches while junior Julie Calzonetti was next with 18. Remi Vargas topped the team in assists with 64 in the three matches and Richter finished with 17 digs for the three matches.

“I personally thought we got off to a slow start,” Richter said. “I felt like everybody held up their end and we worked really good together. Being 7-0 is a big accomplishment and I’m so proud of the hard work we have put in as a team.”

The Lady Buffs have perhaps their biggest challenge in front of them on Saturday (Sept. 21) when they travel to the Maize Invitational.

“I’m looking forward to seeing where we end up at the end of the day on Saturday,” Bailey said.

BOYS SOCCER

The friendly home turf of Buffalo Stadium wasn’t enough on Thursday for the GCHS boys soccer team as they fell to Western Athletic Conference foe Liberal, 3-0, on a windswept evening.

The Buffs struggled on offense all night, managing just one shot against the stingy Redskin defense. In the first half, going against a strong south wind, the Buffs managed to stay within close range of the Redskins, trailing just 1-0 at intermission.

Liberal scored in the 19th minute. In the second half, despite having the wind at their back, the Buffs couldn’t mount any offensive punch and the visitors were able to score a pair of goals, in the 41st and 64th minute to claim the key WAC win.

The loss left the Buffs with a season record of 4-2 and are now 1-1 in the WAC. Liberal improved to 4-2 and 3-0.

Next up for the Buffs will be a road trip on Tuesday (Sept. 24) to rival Dodge City, the first of three road matches, followed by Hays on Sept. 28 and Great Bend on Oct. 1. The next home match will be Oct. 3 against Dodge City.

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