By BRETT MARSHALL
The Garden City High School girls volleyball team went 3-3 on Saturday and finished fourth in the Maize Invitational.
The Lady Buffs went 3-1 in Pool Play to advance to the bracket round before dropping matches to highly-regarded Wichita Kapaun-Mt. Carmel and Derby.
In pool play, the Buffs defeated Hutchinson (27-25, 18-25, 26-24), Maize (25-17, 21-25, 25-12) and Wichita North (25-14, 25-12) while dropping a match to Bishop Miege (25-19, 25-18). In the semifinals against Kapaun, the Buffs lost in straight sets 25-18, 25-15 and then were stopped by Derby 25-18, 25-20 in the consolation match.
"We improved in a lot of areas, and I think the other teams, the other players, were surprised when we played them," said first-year coach Shandra Sanders. "We were the team everybody wanted to play, but we came out and played much, much better."
Jaymie Bernbeck had perhaps one of the best days of the season by a Lady Buff as she recorded 22 kills to lead the team, was among the blocking leaders with Sydney Bellows, recorded 16 digs and had strong serve games in every match.
Jamie St. Clair topped the digs list with 22 while Taryn Tempel followed with 20. Erin Kunely led in assists with 31, and Jacksenie Tornero added 28.
"They were a great team yesterday," Sanders said on Sunday. "We played Kapaun so much better than we did the week before (at Valley Center). We spent a lot of time working on our offense. I thought they paid attention to where we're hitting and did a much better job of blocking."
The Lady Buffs now own a 9-9 record and will be idle until Oct. 1 when they travel to Dodge City for a 4 p.m. quadrangular with Western Athletic Conference foes Dodge, Liberal and Great Bend.