Buffaloes win pair over WAC foes

Brad Nading
Garden City High School's Symone Simmons (29) and Melody Flores combine to block a shot by Great Bend's Rachel Panzer back to the Panthers side Thursday during a WAC volleyball triangular at GCHS.

With only two home scheduled dates, Garden City High School’s volleyball team held Senior Night on Thursday during a triangular at GCHS. The team responded with two wins over Western Athletic Conference foes, Great Bend and Liberal.

After a slow start, the Buffaloes settled in to their first match, handling Great Bend in two sets, 25-17 and 25-20.

“We were a little slow to start against Great Bend, but once we settled in, we were able to utilize several different players to get our offense going,” GCHS coach Trista Bailey said. “Abby Parr, our libber, is really starting to figure out her responsibilities and take ownership in the back row.”

The Buffaloes spread the scoring around against the Panthers, as six players scored off kills in the match. Julie Calzonetti led the way with seven, while McKenna Jagels added five. Abby Ellerman had three kills in the match, while Melody Flores and Symone Simmons each had two. MiKayla Martinez added one.

Jagels led Garden City with eight digs while Parr, Calzonetti, Flores and Myra Cruz each had seven. Ellerman and Simmons each had one block in the match. Jagels recorded three service aces and Parr added two toward the win.

Liberal, however, was a little more of a challenge as the match went to three sets. Garden City bounced back in the third game to win the contest 25-22, 22-25, 27-25.

“Against Liberal, we really struggled defensively. We had a tough time picking up the off-speed ball and Liberal capitalized,” Bailey said. “We found ourselves down 16-20 in the third set, but our kids showed a lot of toughness and grit. Julie Calzonetti and Abby Ellerman really stepped up for us and put balls down when we needed them to.”

Calzonetti put down 11 kills and Ellerman had eight against the Redskins. Jagels added six in the match.

Myra DelaCruz had three service aces in the match, while Calzonetti added two of her own.

On the defensive side, Flores led the Buffaloes with three blocks and Simmons added two. Ellerman and Calzonetti each had one block. Parr grabbed 16 digs and Calzonetti had 11.

“Overall, I’m really proud of how our kids competed tonight,” Bailey said. “We made plays when we needed to and had fun doing it. I’m really happy that our seniors had a night like tonight.”

Seniors on the team include Kiana Calahan, Ellerman, Parr, Calzonetti, Gisselle Gutierrez, Cruz, Jagels and Flores.

The Buffaloes, now 3-5, are off until Sept. 10, when they travel to Lamar, Colo., for a dual match.

Garden City High School's Mya DelaCruz, right, sets the ball to a teammate Thursday against Great Bend at GCHS.