After a slow start led to a loss against Maize in the opening match of Tuesday's triangular, the Hays High volleyball team finished out senior night on a high note.
The Indians fell 25-19, 25-23 to Maize but rebounded with a 25-19, 25-22 win over Salina Central in the regular season finale.
"We started really slow against Maize, and it was one of those things where you wished we would have started a little quicker, because that's kind of what cost us in that first set," HHS coach Christin Nunnery said. "But we have six seniors that have a lot of personality and a lot of want-to when they actually put in the effort. It's a fun day to watch them play their last games on the home court."
Hays High's six seniors got the bulk of the playing time in the Salina Central match.
"Kudos to my underclassmen, because I played my seniors as much as I could and then brought people in when I needed to," Nunnery said. "I told them, 'I'm going to let the seniors play as long as they can,' and they cheered them on and were great teammates."
Tasiah Nunnery, who is putting the finishing touches on a standout career with the Indians, led the way with nine kills in each match while collecting 12 assists on the day. Nunnery has recorded team-high totals in kills (343) and assists (254) in her senior campaign. She was WAC player of the year as a sophomore and has earned first-team All-Conference honors in each season.
"She's walking away as the all-time kill leader at Hays High," said Christin Nunnery, Tasiah's mother. "I'm probably a little biased, but in the last eight years that I've coached she's probably the best player that we've seen come through the high school.
"It's been awesome (to coach her). Bittersweet and sad because she decided to not go on to the next level, so this will be the end of it."
Macee Altman has also enjoyed a solid senior season with 111 kills.
"Macee, she doesn't have a lot of height, but she jumps well in the middle and she's quick, so that helps us," Christin Nunnery said. "And stat-wise, she's just pretty steady all the way across. She doesn't ever lead a column but she's always right toward the top in everything."
Nunnery said the Indians' other seniors — Peyton Niernberger, Cassidy Prough, Sierra Bryant and Brooke Denning — have all contributed to the team in their own way.
"Peyton Niernberger is one of those seniors that everyone wants on the team, because she's always making people laugh and has a great attitude and works hard all the time," Nunnery said. "Cassidy Prough is the same way, she'll work hard and she'll give you effort and when she does she's probably one of the best players on the court.
"Sierra Bryant came a long ways over the past couple seasons. She's that powerhouse on the right side and when she gets her timing down on the block and on the kill, she's hard to stop. Brooke Denning is like the comedy to the team. She has a lot of fun and we really thrive on it. When she's going and having fun it really helps our team."
The Indians (21-13) will play in the Maize South sub-state on Saturday. They open against Wichita Northwest (24-14).
"More than anything, we want the seniors to go out and play hard," Nunnery said. "I've always said, if you go out and play hard and somebody beats you that's one thing, just don't give the game away. I think that would be a huge thing for them to go out and play as hard as we can. And if we lose, we lose. But at least we know we can walk away saying we gave it everything that we had and a team just beat us and was better than us.
"And then it's always good for underclassmen to see what sub-state's all about."