Garden City earns 6A State VB berth
Then there was one.
Class 6A No. 2, and the West's top seed in the Sub-State round, Garden City, is the lone team from Southwestern Kansas who survived the Sub-State round on Saturday and earned a trip to the state volleyball tournament.
Garden City beat Haysville-Campus, 25-17, 25-23, and Manhattan, 25-13, 25-23, to win the Sub-State title and earn one of the eight berths to next weekend's Class 6A State Volleyball Tournament, which will be held at the Tony's Pizza Events Center in Salina.
Three of the top four seeds advanced to the state tournament out of the WIchita-Southeast Sub-State brackets. Lawrence-Free State, which was the No. 5 seed, was the only non-host team from the West group to make state.
Joining Garden City and Free State at the state tourney will be Topeka-Washburn Rural, Derby, Blue Valley, Blue Valley North, Gardner-Edgerton and Shawnee Mission Northwest.
While the Buffaloes managed to make it back to state, three other teams were a win away from also making a state tournament appearance - Liberal, Scott Community and Wallace County.
Liberal was the 11th seed at Derby, and won their match against Hutchinson in a two-set sweep. The Redskins, however, lost to Derby in the Sub-State title match in a two-set sweep.
Dodge City fell in their first match at the Topeka-Washburn Rural Sub-State, falling to Junction City, 26-24, 25-19.
At the 3A Colby Sub-State, the Beavers - who had just cracked the Kansas Volleyball Association Top 10 in Class 3A before the Sub-State round, swept Hugoton and needed three sets to knock off host Colby to advance to the Sub-State title match with Phillipsburg, which rallied past Lakin after dropping the first set in their semifinal.
Phillipsburg won the first set, 25-18, before Scott Community (33-4) took the second, 25-21, to bring about a winner-take-all set. Phillipsburg (29-10) pulled away and took the deciding set, 25-17, to earn the trip to state.
Many teams battled but lost in their only match of the day - Holcomb and Goodland dropped their only match at the Colby Sub-State, while Cimarron and Southwestern Heights lost their only matches at the Hoisington Sub-State.
In the 2A Sub-State in Elkhart, the hosts, Sublette, Wichita County and Stanton County dropped their opening matches, while Syracuse, who knocked Wichita County out of the tournament, won to advance to the semifinals. That 25-21, 25-23 win was the 18th match win for the Lady Bulldogs on the season, which is a school record for wins in a season.
Syracuse (18-20) lost to Medicine Lodge, 25-13, 25-15, to have their season come to an end.
The 1A Sub-States had mixed results for the area teams involved. While Meade dropped their opener in Greensburg, Wallace County managed to get to the Sub-State title match at Western Plains.
The Wildcats (24-11) upended Logan, 25-23, 25-23, before surprising Victoria - who upset top-seeded Golden Plains in the first match, ended Wallace County's season with a 25-19, 25-22 win.