BUFFALO ROUNDUP: Saturday, Oct.. 26, 2019
The weekend of Saturday, Oct. 26 provided the Buffaloes athletic teams a couple of opportunities to qualify for state competition on Nov. 1 and 2, with volleyball and cross country teams in action at sub-state and regional events.
In addition, the football and boys soccer teams had their postseason playoff pairings announced on Saturday as they begin play on Friday (football) and Tuesday (soccer).
The Lady Buffs volleyball was the odds-on favorite to capture the 6A sub-state title on their home court Saturday at The Garden, but their visiting opponents didn’t make it a cakewalk.
With a couple of injuries to some key players, the Lady Buffs had to rearrange their rotation and despite that was able to first hold off Haysville-Campus in the semifinals by set scores of 25-17, 25-23.
“In preparing for sub-state, we focused on controlling our offensive errors and against Campus we struggled to execute,” said GCHS head coach Trista Bailey. “We talked to our kids about the sense of urgency that everyone has to have at this point in the year.”
That set up the championship match against Manhattan, a team that the Lady Buffs had met earlier in the season and defeated at the Lawrence High Invitational. This time, the Lady Buffs won again in straight sets, but battled a tough Lady Indians team to prevail by scores of 25-13, 25-21.
“Manhattan is a solid team – much better than their record indicates,” Bailey said. “They play a tough schedule and they have some really athletic kids. However, we got some big plays out of our middles that ultimately made the difference for our team.”
The sub-state title came despite missing Gisselle Gutierrez (injury) and then seeing senior libero Kelbi Richter go out with a foot injury.
“Julie Calzonetti did a great job filling that role (defensive specialist),” Bailey said. “When Kelbi went down, we had two different players in the rotation – Melody Flores and McKenna Jagels – and both came in and filled in and did a great job for us.”
Bailey was especially pleased with how her team responded to the pressure of the moment.
“We haven’t always handled ourselves very well in pressure situations, but yesterday (Saturday) we saw what kind of teammates we have to be in order to get the most out of each other,” Bailey said. “That was the difference maker for us.”
The twin victories improved the Lady Buffs’ season record to 32-3 and that earned them the No. 1 overall seed at this weekend’s Class 6A state tournament in Salina, to be played Friday and Saturday at Tony’s Pizza Events Center.
The Lady Buffs are in Pool A along with No. 8 seed Lawrence-Free State (24-12), No. 4 Blue Valley (28-8) and No. 5 Blue Valley-North (27-8). Those four teams play a round-robin with the top two advancing to the Saturday semifinals.
The Buffs will first play at 4:30 p.m. against Lawrence-Free State and then face Blue Valley North at 6:30 p.m. and Blue Valley at 8:30 p.m. Blue Valley is one of the teams to defeat the Buffs this season, that coming at the Lawrence Invitational.
In Pool B, the teams include Topeka-Washburn Rural (No. 2, 36-5), Gardner-Edgerton (No. 7, 26-10), Derby (No. 3, 33-8) and Shawnee Mission-Northwest (No. 6, 28-10).
This is the fifth consecutive trip to the state tournament for the Lady Buffs, and they have not advanced to the semifinals in the previous four appearances. The best finish in school history was the 1997 team that went 36-4 and placed fourth.
Class 6A State Tournament at Tony’s Pizza Events Center/Salina
Friday, Nov. 1
Seed 1: Garden City, 32-3
Seed 8: Lawrence-Free State, 24-12
Seed 4: Overland Park-Blue Valley, 28-8
Seed 5: Overland Park-Blue Valley North, 27-8
3:30 PM Overland Park-Blue Valley (4) vs. Overland Park-Blue Valley North (5)
4:30 PM Garden City (1) vs. Lawrence-Free State (8)
5:30 PM Overland Park-Blue Valley (4) vs. Lawrence-Free State (8)
6:30 PM Garden City (1) vs. Overland Park-Blue Valley North (5)
7:30 PM Overland Park-Blue Valley North (5) vs. Lawrence-Free State (8)
8:30 PM Garden City (1) vs. Overland Park-Blue Valley (4)
Pool II (Bottom Bracket)
Seed 2: Topeka-Washburn Rural, 36-5
Seed 7: Gardner-Edgerton, 26-10
Seed 3: Derby, 33-8
Seed 6: Shawnee Mission-Northwest, 28-10
3:30 PM Derby (3) vs. Shawnee Mission-Northwest (6)
4:30 PM Topeka-Washburn Rural (2) vs. Gardner-Edgerton (7)
5:30 PM Derby (3) vs. Gardner-Edgerton (7)
6:30 PM Topeka-Washburn Rural (2) vs. Shawnee Mission-Northwest (6)
7:30 PM Shawnee Mission-Northwest (6) vs. Gardner-Edgerton (7)
8:30 PM Topeka-Washburn Rural (2) vs. Derby (3)
Saturday, November 2
Saturday Bracket posted on KSHSAA website at the conclusion of pool play on Friday.
Saturday Semi-final matches will begin @ 2:00 pm.
Consolation & Championship Matches will begin 15 min. after last semi-final match has concluded.
Senior Ethan Fisher’s third-place individual finish helped propel the Buffaloes’ boys cross country team to a runner-up placing at the 6A regional meet on Saturday, Oct. 26, at the Wichita Cessna Activity Center.
That earned Fisher and his teammates a trip to the 6A state meet, scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 2, at Rim Rock Farm in Lawrence.
Also qualifying was freshman sensation Jocelyn Sosa, who claimed the individual gold medal in the girls division, clocking a 19:31.95 to win by nearly 17 seconds over Wichita East’s Eva McKinzie (19:48.43).
Fisher’s efforts helped the Buffs to a team score of 68 points, well back of champion Wichita East’s 35, but comfortably in front of Dodge City’s third-place 80 points. Santiago Nunez-Gonzalez took eighth (16:58.17), Brody Hoff 13th (17:11.50), Devin Chappel 20th (17:35.31, Austin Hess 24th (17:47.86), Evan Gurrola 25th (17:47.93) and Kenji Craig, 47th (18:39.36).
Sosa’s sensational performance on the girls side was not enough to provide the Lady Buffs with a team qualifying spot as they placed fifth with 116 points. Derby won with 53.
Other finishers for the girls were Kaetlin Kohlhorst 23rd (21:30.14), Andrea Hernandez 31st (22:25.32), Destiny Avila 32nd (22:27.03), Anna Lobmeyer 33rd (22:28.68) and Ana Casados 43rd (24:13.93).
The Buffaloes dropped their final regular-season game at home on Senior Night to the Great Bend Panthers, 27-7, to finish with two wins against six losses.
That dropped them into the No. 14 seed for the Class 6A first-round playoff game which will be played Friday, Nov. 1, at 7 p.m. against Topeka High at the Hummer Sports Complex in Topeka.
This will be just the second time in school history for the Buffs to take on Topeka High. The teams met in the 6A playoffs second round in 2017, also in Topeka, with the Buffs coming away with an upset of the then No. 3-seeded Trojans, 24-21, to reach the state quarterfinals.
A victory Friday night would send the Buffs into the second round on Nov. 8 against the winner of the Lawrence High-Topeka Washburn Rural contest. A loss would bring an end to the 2019 season for the Buffs.
After concluding their regular season at the beginning of the previous week with a 10-1 win over Thomas More Prep-Marian, the Garden City boys soccer team had to wait five days to see who they would be matched up with in the Class 6A regional tournament.
On Saturday, they learned that they will face the Wichita Heights Falcons on Tuesday, in a 6 p.m. match at Heights to determine who will advance to the regional final on Thursday, Oct. 31. The winner will move on to face the winner of the Derby-Topeka High match.
The Buffs (7-8-1) drew the No. 12 overall seed in the West while Heights is the No. 5 seed at 12-3-1.