Four Garden City High School volleyball players will continue their athletic careers in front of the home crowd next season.
Reagan Karlin, Ali Meng, Kelbi Richter and Remi Vargas have all signed national letters of intent to become Broncbusters with Patrick Hiltz’s Garden City Community College volleyball squad. Dodge City’s Sara Ramirez is among the latest signing class also.
“I’m really proud of these four individually and collectively,” GCHS head coach Trista Bailey said. “The fact that they get to continue together is no doubt a dream come true for them.”
Karlin, an all-state selection, finished her Buffalo career with 1,347 kills and 782 digs. The outside hitter had several Division I offers and had originally committed to Creighton.
“She a special player,” Hiltz said. “People have known that about her for a long time. The trick for us is to help her out so she’s not taking on all the load. It’s not very often you land a kid this talented at the four-year level, let alone at the two-year level.”
Meng finished her GCHS career with 587 kills, 396 digs and 97 blocks as an outside hitter.
“She’s a workhorse,” Hiltz said. “I love her work ethic. She wants to be perfect in everything. On top of that, she is going to be a team-first person. She’s extremely versatile.”
Richter finished her high school career with over 1,000 digs as a libero.
“Kelbi reached out to us at first,” Hiltz said. “I wanted to see exactly what her plans were. Her instincts are as good as I've seen in a really long time. It will give us a level of defense that we haven't seen. She will put us a few steps ahead because of that.”
Vargas, the 2019 Western Athletic Conference player of the year, finished her high school varsity career with 2,640 assists and 729 digs as GCHS’ setter.
“Remi has lived and breathed volleyball her whole life,” Hiltz said. “She's been brought up by a solid coach in Chris Fargas, who I respect so much, I'm blessed that he's entrusted me with his daughter. To have somebody with that kind of volleyball IQ, it really adds a totally different layer to our team. It makes us one notch better. She has great hands, and she's used to winning.”
“These four are ready for the next level and are in good hands with Coach Hiltz and his staff,” Bailey said. “Our program is excited that these four will be close to home this fall so we can continue to support their volleyball journeys and watch them continue to grow as people and athletes.”
Middle hitter Ramirez led Dodge City High School in blocks, aces and kills her senior year and was a second team all-WAC selection.
“Sara is one of those kids that works hard and knows she can be good,” Hiltz said. “There are times you watch a play and you're like ’holy cow.’ She is working on her fundamentals. But I expect her to be one of the biggest surprises on the team.”
Others joining the recruiting class for the 2020-21 season include:
• Alandra Lacaze, a middle hitter from West Monroe, La
• Emma Sultz, a setter from Winfield
• Tauja Durham, an outside hitter from Fountain, Colo.
• Jesse Lawton, a setter from Newborough, Australia
"Obviously the goal is to get better each year," Hiltz said. "We want to find players who make us better at each position. We have two returners that we will rely on heavily for leadership. As for the class coming in, we have a really good group. And with our Garden City girls, plus one player from Dodge City, we feel it gives us a great regional representation in southwest Kansas. We are very excited about what this group can accomplish."