By BRETT MARSHALL
The Garden City High School girls tennis team opened its 2013 season with a strong runner-up finish on Saturday at the Great Bend Invitational.
The Lady Buffs scored 43 points to claim second behind favored Great Bend's 52 points. Ellinwood and WaKeeney were third and fourth with 36 and 35 points, respectively.
Garden City got a runner-up finish from No. 1 doubles Claire Schmidt and Shai Cartmill while No. 1 and 2 singles players Jannette Martinez and Andrea Villela took third as did the No. 2 doubles team of Allison Doll and Tania Carmona-Pastrana.
"I am happy with the results," said GCHS head coach Rod Robinson. "We learned what we need to work on and still earned the second place team score. I knew going in that Great Bend would be the team to beat."
Schmidt and Cartmill, playing their first varsity tourney together, went 5-1, defeating teams from Liberal, WaKeeney, Nickerson, Dodge City and Ellinwood while falling to Great Bend.
Martinez and Villela each recorded a 4-2 mark in the round-robin meet while Doll and Carmona-Pastrana went 3-2.
"We got them at No. 2 doubles and that's a start," Robinson said of beating Great Bend's duo. "I think everyone played well considering it was our first time playing with this line-up and that the other schools have already played a tournament or two."
Now that the season is under way, the Lady Buffs will be busy. They have two road meets this week, Tuesday at Goddard and Thursday at Dodge City. Both start at 3 p.m. The GCHS Invitational will be played Sept. 28.
The Garden City High School volleyball team ended the Valley Center Invitational with a 2-3 record on Saturday.
The Lady Buffs won matches against Wichita North and Goddard but suffered losses to Wichita Kapaun-Mt. Carmel, Rose Hill and Wichita East.
"We played some very good volleyball and played closely with all of our opponents," Shandra Sanders, GCHS coach, said. "We started out very strong and fought hard all day long."
Jacksenie Tornero paced the Lady Buffs with 40 assists. Taryn Tempel was the digs leader for the day with 17, while Jamie St. Clair was next with 16 and Erika Schafer with 14. Leading in kills were Schafer with 21, Tempel and Taylor Linenberger with 19 each and Jaymie Bernbeck with 15.
The Lady Buffs opened with a straight set victory over Wichita North (25-11, 25-16) but then dropped consecutive matches to Kapaun-Mtl Carmel (25-15, 25-12) and Rose Hill in a tough, three-setter (24-26, 25-14, 25-22). They bounced back with another lengthy three-set match, winning this one against Goddard, 25-17, 21-25, 25-22. In their final match, the Lady Buffs lost in straight sets to Wichita East (25-18, 25-16).
The Lady Buffs' record now sits at 4-5. They are on the road twice this week, Thursday at Pratt for a quadrangular and Saturday at Maize.