Lady Buffs volleyball to re-load, eye 10th straight WAC crown

LADY BUFFS VOLLEYBALL: Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020

Season Preview

GARDEN CITY LADY BUFFALOES

Head Coach: Trista Bailey (4th season, 88-28)

Expectations have risen for the Garden City Lady Buffaloes volleyball program over the last decade.

No longer has it been just good enough to win the Western Athletic Conference title, which they have now done nine consecutive years. Five straight trips to the Class 6A state tournament have yet to yield an appearance in the semifinals, the next step for coach Trista Bailey.

For the Lady Buffs to take that move up the postseason ladder, Bailey said her 2020 team will have to establish its own identity after losing one of its most prized senior classes. Gone are four-year starter and WAC Players of the Year Reagan Karlin and Remi Vargas (2018 and 2019) along with Kelbi Richter, Alli Meng and Ashlyn Swan. All but Swan are now on the roster at Garden City Community College while Swan is playing at Colby C.C. Karlin was a two-time first-team Class 6A all-stater and originally was a Creighton Division I signee before changing her mind in the late spring.

Five of the nine seniors on this year’s roster saw starting duty or plenty of on-court playing time. That group includes outside hitter Julie Calzonetti (5-9), middle blocker Abby Ellerman (5-11), defensive specialist Abby Parr (5-7), defensive specialist Gisselle Gutierrez (5-7) and middle blocker Melody Flores (5-8).

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Senior Julie Calzonetti will be one of the returning starters that coach Trista Bailey will be looking to for leadership of this year’s Lady Buffs volleyball team. (Photo by Brett Marshall)

“We are really excited for what this season will bring,” Bailey said. “While we graduated a very talented group last year, the core of this year’s senior group has contributed to our team’s success over the last two years in a variety of ways.”

Bailey developed a newfound positive outlook over the summer workouts.

Among the new faces seeing early action are McKenna Jagels, Mya Cruz and Mya DelaCruz.

“In working with this group over the summer, it is undeniable that these kids work really well together and they play hard,” Bailey said. “I think they will surprise people this fall.”

2020 Schedule: Aug. 29—at Hutchinson tournament; Sept. 1–at Maize South Tri (Newton); Sept. 3—GARDEN CITY TRIANGULAR (Great Bend, Liberal); Sept. 17—at Ulysses Quad; Sept. 19—at Maize Inv.; Sept. 29—at Dodge City Triangular; Oct. 1—at Bishop Carroll Quad; Oct. 3—at Lawrence High Quad; Oct. 8—GARDEN CITY QUAD; Oct. 10—at McPherson Tournament; Oct. 17—WAC Championship, Great Bend; Oct. 24—Class 6A sub-state; Oct. 30-31—Class 6A state at Salina.

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