GCHS claims WAC volleyball title

Brad Nading
Garden City High School's Abby Parr digs a shot in a match against Dodge City earlier this season at GCHS. The Buffaloes won the WAC tournament Saturday, for the 10th consecutive year.

Battling through the day, Garden City High School’s volleyball team continued its tradition, claiming the Western Athletic Conference’s league tournament with a 4-0 record Saturday at Great Bend. This was the 10th consecutive year the Buffaloes captured the title.

“We battled hard Saturday,” GCHS head coach Trista Bailey said. “WAC volleyball is very well rounded this year, which makes this title even more special. Teams took some sets from us and we proved our resiliency more than once.”

Garden City opened with a match against its rival Dodge City. The Buffaloes defeated the Red Demons 22-25, 25-0, 25-22.

Julie Calzonetti, returning to the lineup, led the team with 13 kills while Abby Ellermann had 11. McKenna Jagels had nine kills in the match while Melody Flores added six and Mya Cruz had one. Gisselle Gutierrez, Calzonetti, Jagels and Flores each had two service aces in the match. Abby Parr and Cruz each added one ace.

Symonne Simmons led the team with two blocks and Flores had one. Calzonetti recorded 15 defensive digs in the match, Flores had 14, Cruz added 12 and Parr had 11. Gutierrez had eight digs, Jagels had four, Ellermann added three and Simmons had two.

“We implemented a new system and a new defense, all over the last 10 days, and I thought our kids executed it well,” Bailey said.

Up next, Liberal, which gave the Buffaloes a three-set match, 23-25, 25-19, 25-21.

Four GCHS players had double-digit efforts in defensive digs in the match, with Calzonetti having 18, Jagels 16, Parr 12, and Flores with 10. Gutierrez and Cruz each had nine digs while Simmons had four and Ellermann added two. Ellermann, Calzonetti and Simmons each had one block in the match.

On the offensive side, Calzonetti again led the Buffaloes with 13 kills and Ellermann had 11. Flores had six kills while Jagels had five and Simmons added one. Jagels led the team with three service aces. Parr, Flores and Cruz each had one ace.

Garden City’s quickest match was against Hays, only two sets, winning 25-22, 25-10.

Ellermann led the team with seven kills while Jagels and Flores each had three and Calzonetti added two. Flores had three service aces as Parr and Jagels had one each.

Calzonetti had nine digs to led the team while Parr had eight. Flores and Cruz each had six digs and Jagels added five. Gutierrez had three while Ellermann and Simmons each had one. Ellermann led the team with three blocks while Calzonetti, Flores and Simmons had two each.

“This group of seniors will always hold a special place in my heart,” Bailey said. “They were freshmen my first year and to see their hard work and dedication be rewarded makes me so happy for them.”

In their final match of the round-robin tournament, Garden City defeated Great Bend 25-16, 24-26, 25-22.

Calzonetti claimed 12 kills in the match while Ellermann and Flores each had 10. Jagels added five and Cruz had one. Jagels and Flores each had two service aces and Calzonetti had one.

Simmons had the lone blocks for the Buffaloes in the match, recording two. Cruz led the team in defensive digs with 15, while Calzonetti and Flores each had 14. Parr and Jagels had 13 each. Simmons added two.

“Winning at anything is tough, but to do it consistently for the last decade says so much about this program and all of the players and coaches that came before us,” Bailey said. “We are so grateful to have had they way paved for us and for these kids to continue the tradition makes me proud and so hopeful for Garden City volleyball.”

Garden City, now 17-13 overall, will travel to Dodge City on Saturday for Class 6A regional action.