GCCC volleyball beats Dodge, Friends JV





It didn't look good at first, but the Lady Broncbusters didn't let a flat start keep them from finishing.

The Garden City Community College volleyball team didn't look impressive early in matches against Dodge City and Friends University's junior varsity on Saturday at the Perryman Athletic Complex, but got stronger as the matches went on, winning both to improve to 17-12 this season. And with the win over the Lady Conquistadors, the Busters are 4-4 in conference and half a game back of Colby for fourth in the KJCCC.

"We were really happy, being the little rivalry it is. that was a big win for us," GCCC head coach Rob Lutz said. "It puts us tied for fourth in the conference. As a matter of fact, the Colby coach was down here scouted. They're concerned about us, which is a great thing to be."

It took four sets to beat Dodge City (10-17, 2-7 KJCCC), as Garden City dropped the first 22-25 before winning the last three 25-23, 25-17, 25-18.

The Busters pulled away to eight-point leads late partway through both the third and fourth sets. The first two weren't quite as easy.

The Conqs led most of the first set early, going ahead 17-13 after the Busters' Paula Gonzalez missed a spike out of bounds. Garden City would tie the game at 19 before Dodge City reclaimed the lead for good. A Victoria Cross kill gave DCCC a 24-21 lead, and GCCC got a point from Natalia Parreira before Shelby Bennet's serve into the net ended the game.

Garden City had an early lead in the second set, but Dodge City took a 17-16 lead after a Busters misplay. GCCC took back the lead and won when Mallory Ratts' serve landed out of bounds.

"I don't know what the deal was with Dodge, in terms of, I don't know if we were too keyed up, or not keyed up enough," Lutz said. "But both teams seemed kind of flat, even all the way to game two. We had a discussion during the break, and I was like, 'Hey; let's go get it done.' And then I think we got fired up, it was like, let's go do it. And we pulled away — convincingly, I thought."

The Busters swept the Lady Falcons, winning 25-19, 25-22, 27-25, with the early games going back and forth before Garden City could pull away late.

Bennett, starting at outside hitter in place of Taylor Winchester, who injured her back at Cloud County last Tuesday, had a big night once she got settled in, putting some of the hardest swings on the ball of anyone all night. A few misfired out of bounds, but the ones that stayed in tended to result in points for GCCC — like her her kill to clinch the match in the 27-25 third set, or her serve to win the first set. 

"I thought Shelby started a little bit nervous," Lutz said. "And then once she calmed her nerves down, she was explosive. She was hitting balls with serious authority, firing us up, big smile afterward, looking at her teammates. Emotion's a big part of the game. When you're playing well, the emotion's always positive. And Shelby brought a lot of that for us tonight."

Garden CIty heads to Barton for a 6:30 p.m. match Monday. Lutz said he hopes to have Winchester cleared by the training staff to return in time to face the Cougars.

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