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GCHS Volleyball Sub-state Runner-up

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The GCHS volleyball team are l-ro-r (back row) Asst. coach Brecken Mangan, Brianna Hill, Genesis Valenzuela, Brighton Clinesmith, Grace Whitham, Myla Reynolds, coach Jordan Stewart, (bottom row) Trinity Albers, Ana Trejo, Illiany Yanez, and Kally Alexander.

Story Photo

The GCHS volleyball team are l-ro-r (back row) Asst. coach Brecken Mangan, Brianna Hill, Genesis Valenzuela, Brighton Clinesmith, Grace Whitham, Myla Reynolds, coach Jordan Stewart, (bottom row) Trinity Albers, Ana Trejo, Illiany Yanez, and Kally Alexander.

The Lady Jackrabbits made history on Saturday by being the first ever HS volleyball team for Greeley County to become sub-state runner-up! As many of you know, we have had a very mentally exhausting year. We struggled with numbers most of the season due to quarantine, illness, and some unexpected events. Our team also missed at least 10 matches this season, and the sub-state tournament was the first match we’ve played since October 5th! These things did make us stronger and really be grateful to play the game!
We started off the first match of the day in Dighton versus Rolla. We played well enough to get the win 25-7 and 27-25 but we were going to have to be at the top of our game to beat the #1 seed Dighton on their home court! I told the girls in the locker room that we needed to all give 110% and to trust our teammates! We had nothing to lose, but to just go out mentally prepared, focused, and play our game!
Next up, Dighton with a record of 22-10! I am not even sure where to start! I still get goosebumps thinking about this match. Let’s just say, this team finally played to their potential, played together, gave effort on every play, and had fun! This was such a fun match to coach! We battled back and forth the entire first set. Myla Reynolds dominated the net with several kills, but more importantly some dominating blocks! Grace Whitham and Genesis Valenzuela made several amazing defensive plays and also placed several kills perfectly! Brianna Hill was setting the ball well and getting it to our strong hitters! Iliany Yanez came in the match to serve when we were down 19-22. Talk about pressure. She was able to serve 6 successful serves in a row for us to win the set 25-22! 
In the 2nd set, for some reason we just struggled and went back to making mental errors and lost 12-25. The Lady Rabbits were able to regain their composure and came out dominating the 3rd set with a fast lead of 6-1. We continued to do everything right, not giving up more than 2 consecutive points at a time. We really just did the small things! We served and passed well, we were on our toes defensively and figured out how to battle and win. Again Myla Reynolds and Grace Whitham led the team offensively and Genesis Valenzuela, Brighton Clinesmith, and Ana Trejo hustled and made awesome defensive plays. Bri Hill, our senior setter, was quick to get to the ball and feed our hitters! This is not an easy job, and she did it well! We won the 3rd set 25-12 to advance to the sub-state championship game! 
We would face a very experienced and tough Wheatland/Grinnell team. They had many weapons! Skilled servers, passers, and hitters. We played hard, but Wheatland/Grinnell made everything difficult for us. They have an amazing history of getting to the state tournament and mentally stepped out on the court expecting to win, where we were more hoping to get the win. I don’t believe the score really shows our effort and fight, but we lost in 2 sets 11-25 and 13-25.
Overall, I was extremely happy for our team! These girls have come so far and put in lots of time getting better, and deserved that feeling of knocking off and upsetting the #1 team. It is hard to adjust to the season being over and knowing how successful we could have been if we would have had a “normal” season. But it also makes me look forward to next year and the years after that. SO PROUD OF YOU LADIES!
Thank you to the parents for always being there to support the girls and provide snacks, water and Gatorade! Also, a huge thank-you to my assistant, Brecken Mangan! I appreciate ALL you do! 
— Coach Jordan Stewart

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