GARDEN PLAIN, Kan. Garden Plain was determined to make a return trip to the state tournament. After coming home with the title in 2015, the Owls stayed at home the last two years, failing to win at sub-state. In 2018, the magic returned.
Sedgwick just got by 5th seed Hutch Trinity in three sets to make it to the title match and set up the 1-2 match with the Owls. Garden Plain won each of their first two matches in two sets.
In that first championship set, Garden Plain was playing like they were on a mission. They jumped out to a 15-6 lead, later pushing it to 19-10. Sedgwick called a timeout, and responded by taking 5 straight points to cut the deficit to 19-15. The Owls put the pedal down from there, getting the lead back to 24-17 before hanging on to take the set 25-21.
The second set was much closer. The two teams went back and forth, trading leads for much of the match. But it was Garden Plain that would prevail, winning the set 25-23 to take the match and make the return trip to state.
Elsewhere in Class 2A, Ellinwood made it through the day without dropping a single set, winning a tight one over Ellsworth with a 25-23 first set victory in the championship match.
Smith Center, who entered as the 4th ranked team in the class, had no problem making it to state. The most points the Redmen gave up in a single set was 16 on the day, that coming in the final facing Trego Community. Smith Center will look to improve upon its 4th place finish a year ago.
Meade would make it three top seeds from the West side making it to state winning their own sub-state. The Buffaloes, ranked 5th by the KVA in 2A, defeated Lakin in two sets to get to Hays. They improve to 33-5 on the year in reaching state for a second consecutive season.
2A STATE QUALIFIERS
Smith Center (35-5)
Garden Plain (31-9)
Valley Heights (24-15)