There was no masking the challenge facing the Garden City Lady Buffaloes volleyball team on Friday when they entered the final four Class 6A state tournament at Tony’s Pizza Events Center in Salina.
After all, the Lady Buffs, with a modest 20-13 record but on a hot-streak of nine consecutive match wins, including a pair over state-ranked teams Hutchinson and Derby, would be facing the Nos. 1, 3 and 4-ranked teams in the COVID-minted format which had only four teams at the state site rather than the typical eight.
The Garden City High School boys soccer team knew it had a big challenge ahead when it drew Western Athletic Conference foe Liberal in the semifinal round of the Class 6A Region 1 playoffs.
After all, the Buffaloes had dropped a pair of one-goal decisions to the Redskins during the regular season, falling 3-2 at home and then 1-0 on the road. So while the odds of a third-times-the-charm opportunity was possible, going on the road made the challenge even more daunting.
And that's how things turned out Wednesday, Oct. 28, when the Buffs came up on the short end of a 3-1 decision at Liberal to be eliminated from the postseason and see their season end with a 6-8-1 record.
When the first of October rolled around for the fall 2020 high school volleyball season, the Garden City Lady Buffaloes found themselves hovering right around .500 or just below.
They had started the season against a tough schedule of state-ranked teams and were standing at 1-5 after the first two weeks. Things slowly improved, eventually moving to a few games above .500, but still working to find its identity.
In an improbable finish to an improbable run to an improbable season during an improbable year, leave it to the Garden City Lady Buffaloes volleyball team to do something that many thought improbable, but certainly will be memorable.
Tuesday night, traveling to favored Derby in the Class 6A state quarterfinals with a revised tournament format, the Lady Buffs rallied from a 2-set deficit to shock the Lady Panthers in a five-set battle to reach Friday's state semifinals in Salina.
FOOTBALL: Monday, Oct. 26, 2020 For the second straight week, the Garden City Buffaloes football team found the formula for success. Establish a strong running game, complemented by timely big-play passes and a stingy defense. Those were the ingredients on Friday night, Oct. 23, as the Buffs pounded Western Athletic Conference opponent Great Bend, 45-0, … Continue reading Buffs rout Panthers for 2nd straight win; playoffs up next at Manhattan
Garden City High School sophomore Devin Chappel claimed the Class 6A regional boys cross country title on Saturday at the Cessna Activities Center in Wichita while senior teammate Brody Hoff took fifth to also qualify for the state cross country meet this Saturday, Oct. 31, in Augusta.
Jocelyn Sosa, a sophomore for the Lady Buffs, claimed second-place to qualify individually as the girls team was unable to qualify as a group, placing fourth.
The late-season surge for the Garden City High School Lady Buffaloes volleyball team continued on Saturday, Oct. 24, in the Class 6A sub-state tournament in Dodge City.
The Lady Buffs claimed the sub-state title for the sixth consecutive season with wins over rival Dodge City (25-23, 25-13) and then knocked off No. 1 seeded Hutchinson in the title match (26-24, 18-25, 25-18).
The youthful Garden City High School girls golf team gained valuable experience at the Class 6A state tournament on Monday and Tuesday which was contested at the Hesston Golf Course.
While the overall finish was not quite what head coach Trent Specht would have hoped for, the two-day, 36-hole tourney will provide much learned knowledge for a team that will lose just one senior.
When the 2020 volleyball season served up its first matches in early September, little did anyone know just how competitive the Western Athletic Conference would be between 9-time defending league champion Garden City, and improved teams from Hays, Great Bend, Dodge City and Liberal.
On Saturday, at Great Bend’s gymnasium, that overall balance and competitiveness could not have been more evident.
But one thing didn’t change – and that was the eventual team champion.
FOOTBALL: Friday, Oct. 16, 2020 One week after being shutout for the first time in 121 games dating back to 2007, the Garden City Buffaloes football team erupted for its best offensive output of the 2020 season on Friday night, Oct. 16, with a 38-8 triumph over Ulysses at Buffalo Stadium. Friday's southwest Kansas matchup … Continue reading Buffs rebound to topple Ulysses, snap 3-game loss streak in 38-8 triumph