BUFFS ROUNDUP: Friday/Saturday, Oct. 18-19, 2019
The Garden City High School volleyball team lived up to their pre-billing as the overwhelming favorite at the 2019 Western Athletic Conference at the Oct. 19 league meet held at The Garden.
The Lady Buffs swept all four of their matches in straight set triumphs, with only the early match against Liberal providing any heart-beat moments in the four matches.
Coach Trista Bailey’s squad opened with a hard-earned 28-26, 25-21 triumph over Liberal’s Lady Redskins in the opening match of the day before rolling to victories over Hays High (25-10, 25-12), Great Bend (25-19, 25-16) and rival Dodge City (25-13, 25-12).
“It means a lot to be able to defend and win WAC again,” said senior outside hitter Reagan Karlin of playing on her fourth WAC title team. “We wanted to win this and give us a good seed for the sub-state volleyball tournament next week.”
In sweeping past their four WAC foes, the Lady Buffs won the tourney by two matches, as Great Bend, Liberal and Hays all finished 2-2 while Dodge City finished fifth at 0-4. Great Bend took second by virtue of having a better record in sets won at 5-4 while Liberal was 5-5 and Hays 4-6. Dodge City won 1 match while dropping eight.
With the four wins, the Lady Buffs improved their season record to 30-3 and the No. 4-ranked team now preps for hosting the Class 6A sub-state on Saturday, Oct. 26.
With seedings and pairings being announced Monday morning, Oct. 21, the Lady Buffs earned the overall No. 1 seed in the 18-team Western Division.
There will be four other teams in the single-elimination sub-state with a play-in game between the Nos. 16 and 17 seeded teams starting at 1 p.m. at The Garden. That will pit Topeka High (4-31) against Haysville-Campus (3-29). The Buffs will take on the winner of that match immediately following, at approximately 2 p.m.
In the other semifinal match, it will be No. 8 Wichita Southeast (17-19) against No. 9 Manhattan (17-20) at approximately 3 p.m. The two semifinal winners will play after that match for the championship with the winner advancing to the 6A state tournament on Nov. 1-2 at Tony’s Pizza Events Center in Salina, formerly known as the Bicentennial Center.
Should the Lady Buffs capture the sub-state title, it would mark the fifth straight year for them to appear at the 6A state tourney. Their 30-3 record thus far is the best in program history since 1997 when Melissa Savolt’s team was 34-1 heading to state and finished 36-4 overall and placed fourth that year.
Garden City’s Lady Buffs tennis team sent all six of its players to the Class 6A state tournament in Topeka for the opening day of matches on Friday, Oct. 18.
As it seemingly occurs most years, the Lady Buffs ran into some tough competition from the eastern Kansas schools, with only sophomore Sage Riggs coming home with one win against two losses as did the doubles team of Hannah Kipp and Carole Galia.
Carson Linenberger went 0-2 in her two singles matches while Ashleigh Chappel and Brooke Ptacek were winless in their two matches.
Riggs lost her opening match to Sophia Baillos of Blue Valley-North, 6-0, 6-1, and then had to face her teammate Linenberger in a consolation battle where she prevailed 9-4. That put her against Sophie Lecuru of Mill Valley, where she fell 9-0. Riggs finished her first season in singles play with a 30-7 won-loss record.
Linenberger’s first match came against Adora Weir-Dowd of Derby and she battled before losing a tough decision, 6-4, 7-5. She finished the season with a 23-9 record.
Kipp and Galia opened their tourney play against Michaela Crowe and Naeley Torlin of Shawnee Mission Northwest, dropping the match 6-2, 6-3 before beating Dodge City’s Jordan Trombly and Becca Unruh, 9-5. That sent them against Avery Altman and Eden Schanker of Mill Valley, falling in their final match, 9-1. Their final season record was 21-11.
Chappel and Ptacek dropped their opening match to Megan Li and Hali Liu of Olathe East, 6-0, 6-1, and then were eliminated by Tia Hines and Elizabeth Jackson of Hutchinson, 9-7. Their season record was 21-10.
The Lady Buffs will return a strong contingent of those players for 2020 as Linenberger and Galia are the lone seniors who will graduate. Kipp and Chappel are juniors while Riggs is a sophomore and Ptacek a freshman.
The late-season struggles for the GCHS Buffs boys soccer team continued on Saturday, Oct. 19, at the Wichita North Cup where they fell to host North, 2-0, in the fifth place match.
The Buffs, who were 6-3-0 on Oct. 1, are now 6-8-1, having gone 0-5-1 in the last three weeks. They will close out their regular season schedule on Monday, Oct. 21, with a 6 p.m. match against Thomas More Prep-Marian of Hays at Buffalo Stadium.
Following that match, the Buffs will await the seedings for the Class 6A regional tournament, which begins the week of Nov. 4.