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GCHS Volleyball finishes regular season 20-13

Story Photo

For the first time in history the GCHS volleyball team won 20 games in a season. Team members are l-to-r (top row) coach Jordan Stewart, Myla Reynolds, Grace Whitham, Ana Trejo, Illiany Yanez, Kally Alexander, asst. coach Brecken Mangan, (bottom row) Jerusalen Valenzuela, Jadyn Mangan, Brighton Clinesmith, and Taittum Bain.

Story Photo

For the first time in history the GCHS volleyball team won 20 games in a season. Team members are l-to-r (top row) coach Jordan Stewart, Myla Reynolds, Grace Whitham, Ana Trejo, Illiany Yanez, Kally Alexander, asst. coach Brecken Mangan, (bottom row) Jerusalen Valenzuela, Jadyn Mangan, Brighton Clinesmith, and Taittum Bain.

We had our last home quad last Tuesday. It was also our designated “PINK OUT” night. We were able to honor those who have passed from cancer and those who have survived the awful disease. We also presented a check to our local victory walk foundation from the Booster Club, the HS volleyball team, the HS football, the HS cross-country team, and the HS boys basketball team. We also celebrated our seniors on the team, Grace Whitham, Myla Reynolds, and Brighton Clinesmith. They have made a huge impact on this program, became great leaders and they will sure be missed. 
We started off the night playing WPH. We won easily in 2 sets 25-15 and 25-15. Next, we played Deerfield, winning in 2 also with scores of 25-17, 25-17. In both matches, we were able to play mostly our underclassmen. It was nice to be able to allow Kally Alexander, Ana Trejo, and Alexis Chavez some solid court time. This also puts us in a rotation we have not practiced nor are the players comfortable, but I thought they all adjusted well and played hard.  
Last team of the night we would face was Wichita County. I knew going in that this would be a very competitive match and whichever team had fewer errors would win. At the time, we had the exact same record for the season, and athletically are very evenly matched. The entire match was a battle. We pulled out the win in the first set 25-23 and as a team we played very well. All the girls made huge plays, served and passed well, and we were able to pull out the win. The second set was similar except we lost 23-25 and unfortunately missed 6 serves! In the 3rd set, we continued to fight, but again missed way too many serves and lost 25-17. Other then missing our serves, we couldn’t have played a better match. Offensively and defensively we were doing everything right. Our effort was amazing. The team really wanted this win, but a few things cost us the momentum. We have to really work on our mental battle with serving, it could be the only difference in us going to state or not. I know we can serve well, but the individuals have to step behind the line knowing it’s going in. 
Saturday, we played in Quinter for the league tournament. We went in as the #3 seed and would play Oberlin, Quinter, and Dighton in our pool. I would say all the teams in our league have continually improved and all showed up to compete on Saturday. We took Oberlin in 3 sets, 20-25, 25-23, and 25-11. It took us awhile to get things going, but once we did we played well. Against Quinter, immediately following the Oberlin match, we came out and won the first set 25-20. Grace Whitham went down at the net on point 23 with a sprained ankle. This was a huge mental hardship for our team. Anytime your leader goes out, it’s tough. We changed our lineup a little bit for the 2nd set. Ana Trejo went in full rotation instead of just the libero. She did an amazing job and made some great plays. All the girls knew they would have to step up. Also, I am very proud of Jadyn Mangan and Taittum Bain. They are very talented freshmen and were able to get some kills for us in Grace’s absence. Myla Reynolds was giving everything she could at the net. I know she and Brighton both really wanted to win this for Grace and they showed it on the court. Unfortunately, we just couldn’t do enough. We fell just short in the 2nd set 21-25 and the 3rd set 16-25. In the 3rd set, I really felt like our girls were struggling mentally. Even though I know they were giving their best, I could see the doubt in their faces. This match did not go as we anticipated and that was heartbreaking for all of them. 
Next up, we would play Dighton. We did have Grace back for this match, but not at full capacity. Our team came out playing well and even had the lead in the first set 19-13. Then as before, something happens. We start making errors and let them back in, eventually losing in 2, 20-25 and 19-25.  I am hoping we are saving the big win for substate. I have no doubt this team can beat them, we have been so close every time. We have a week to prepare for Saturday, but can’t overlook any of the teams at our substate. We have the ability, the skills, the unity, we just have to have the desire and mental toughness! 
We love our home crowd, we love our student section from the elementary kids to the HS students, and we would love for you to pack Deerfield’s gym this Saturday for us! These girls have worked so hard, starting from last spring. They want it and they want the community to experience it with them. Thank you to all the parents, your support and love is everything! It’s been a phenomenal year and we aren’t finished. 
— Coach Jordan Stewart

 

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