By The Telegram
The Garden City High School volleyball squad left the Hays High quad on Thursday with a 2-1 record, with its lone loss being a three-game match to Pratt.
"Overall, I'm pleased with their performance," GCHS coach Bob Schmitz said. "We can't let a single loss affect us in our next match that we're playing. We've got to shake that off a little bit quicker."
GCHS opened the quad with a two-game sweep of Hays (25-21, 25-15). The Lady Buffs had 24 kills against the Indians with Casey Curran leading with six kills and Kristen Heiman finished with five.
"It was really a strange feeling when we were at the coin toss at the pre-game meeting with the captains and the coaches," said Schmitz, who was making his first appearance as Garden City's coach back on the court where he coached a year ago. "Hays had all of their seniors there and to have to shake their hands as an opponent when I knew them so well as my own team members was¬ -- I'm not going to lie — was a really strange feeling. And maybe a little uncomfortable for the girls because I knew them so well."
The Pratt match followed as it was an energy draining moment for the Lady Buffs as they fell in three games, 21-25, 25-21, 25-22. GCHS had 30 kills against Pratt with Paula Gonzales leading with six followed by Heiman, Curran and Reagan Hill picking up five each.
"They were a very good team," Schmitz said of Pratt. "I'm not sure why they're not ranked in the state. We had a pretty balanced attack, Pratt was just picking up everything we were dishing at them for some really long rallies. So that was a really hard-fought game."
Reeling from the three-game loss to Pratt, Garden City came out slow against Ulysses in the final match. However, the Lady Buffs still pulled out a three-game victory over Ulysses (15-25, 25-15, 25-11).
"We were just off our game when we started playing Ulysses," Schmitz said. "We had to regroup after that Pratt loss and came around the second two sets and picked up the win against Ulysses in three."
Curran led the Lady Buffs in kills in the Ulysses match with six, followed by Gonzales with four.
Ulysses also lost to Pratt in the quad, 25-17, 25-21. But in between their losses to Pratt and GCHS, the Lady Tigers won a hard-fought, three-game match against Hays (25-23, 20-25, 25-21).
"This was our match of the season so far," Ulysses coach Jason Jones said. "The girls were playing loose and having a lot of fun. We swung well when we had the opportunity, attacked the overpass, and our defense had a lot of great digs. I'm proud of the girls for establishing the momentum and keeping it."
Kaylea Britton led Ulysses in kills in the Hays match picking up 15 of her team-high 25 for the night. She also had four blocks to tie Kayla Stevenson for the team-high, while Courtney Anthony had an impressive five aces in the match.
Garden City will be off from competition until next Thursday when they travel to Derby for a triangular that includes Goddard.
"We're going to still work on our rotation work," Schmitz said. "I think there's still adjustments we can make. ... It might seem like a long way before we play again, but I think when we go to Derby it's going to come up really quick on us."
Hays High quad
Thursday at Hays
Garden City def. Hays 25-21, 25-15; lost to Pratt 21-25, 25-21, 25-22; def. Ulysses 15-25, 25-15, 25-11.
Ulysses lost to Pratt 25-17, 25-21; def. Hays 25-23, 20-25, 25-21; lost to Garden City 15-25, 25-15, 25-11.