LADY BUFFS VOLLEYBALL: Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020
The new-look Garden City High School Lady Buffs volleyball team had its season-opening venture to Hutchinson on Saturday, Aug. 29, and found the opposition as challenging as head coach Trista Bailey had anticipated.
After losing five players to graduation, all of whom are now playing at the college level, the Lady Buffs posted a 1-3 record in the Hutchinson Round-Robin, which was played in Newton and two other sites. Fifteen teams participated in three groups of five, with each team playing four matches.
The Lady Buffs, with almost an entirely new starting lineup, opened with a three-set victory over Valley Center by scores of 20-25, 25-18, 25-23. They then fell to Derby, 25-11, 25-20; Newton in three sets, 28-26, 15-25, 18-25; and McPherson, 17-25, 22-25.
Bailey, who guided the 2019 Lady Buffs to a 33-5 record and one of the best seasons in school history, said the inexperience of the squad showed early on.
“Even though we have nine seniors on our roster, we are only returning three players with varsity experience,” Bailey said. “We are going to rely heavily on those three to move from being role players to carrying the load for our team.”
Bailey said she did see improvement throughout the day against a tough group of opponents.
“Our serve-receive improved throughout the day, but our defensive effort has to improve,” Bailey said. “Overall, it was a valuable learning experience for our kids. We will get better. This is a hard-working group and I know they are eager to make some adjustments and do what needs to be done to improve.”
Among the top stats performers were Julie Calzonetti and Mackenna Jagels in kills, Mya Cruz and Mya DelaCruz in assists, and Abby Parr in digs.
The Lady Buffs were to be back on the road Tuesday with a triangular at Maize South that also includes Newton. They will open their home season Thursday with a triangular, hosting WAC opponents Great Bend and Liberal at The Garden. Opening match is at 4 p.m. Contact the GCHS athletics department for information regarding fan attendance.