TOPEKA — No team plans on going winless in a state tournament.
But even though Garden City’s volleyball team went 0-3 in Class 6A pool play Friday at Landon Arena, including a couple of heartbreaking three-set matches, coach Trista Bailey walked off the court proud of her Buffaloes.
After dropping a 25-17, 25-12 decision to Blue Valley West to open the tournament, the sixth-seeded Buffs got tough the rest of the day. Garden City took Washburn Rural to three sets before the Junior Blues prevailed 25-16, 18-25, 25-20, and the Buffaloes also went three against Lawrence, which ended up taking a 25-19, 16-25, 25-23 win.
“We didn’t want to go 0-3. That wasn’t anybody’s plan coming in here, but I thought they showed so much character and so much heart in match No. 2 and match No. 3 because it would have been super easy for us to just fold after that first loss, but I thought we got better as the day went on.’’
Garden City, which finished its season 27-11, got big hitting performances from senior Adisyn Swan and sophomore Reagan Karlin while senior Lindsey Richmeier was all over the court for the Buffaloes.
“I’m so proud of not only the effort in those last two games, but I thought we showed a lot of poise and I’m really proud of them,’’ Bailey said.
Bailey said Garden City will sorely miss its three graduating seniors next season but said that she feels the future is bright for the program.
“The things that those three seniors have done for us this year is un-matched,’’ Bailey said. “They grew so much individually and as leaders. That’s going to be hard to replace but what they gave to the underclassmen is kind of that taste for wanting more than just day one of state and set the bar a little bit higher.’’
Blue Valley West, Washburn Rural, Manhattan and Olathe Northwest advanced to the semifinals, but the pairings were still in question after 11 p.m., with Blue Valley West and Rural still playing the final match of the night.