By CONOR NICHOLL
The senior class for Goodland is highly accomplished and has helped transform Cowgirl sports, specifically volleyball and basketball.
Goodland’s senior class includes six on the volleyball team: Mya Nemechek, Jordin Owens, Rilynn Frazier and the well-known trio of Talexa Weeter, Olivia Lehman and Lindsey Cure.
The juniors feature defensive specialist Haley Biermann, outside hitter Jaxi Mitchek, hitter Haley Blochlinger and setter Hadyn Blochlinger.
Lehman and Weeter are both 6-foot tall, while Cure is 6-1. All three were key pieces of Goodland’s 3A basketball state championship last winter. Cure is the school record holder in the javelin.
Recently, Lehman exceeded 2,000 career assists, and Weeter 1,000 career kills. As well, Weeter committed to Fort Hays State basketball. Weeter went over 1,000 career points in basketball.
They helped Goodland open 7-0 in volleyball entering Saturday. Goodland is ranked No. 9 in 3A by the Kansas Volleyball Coaches Association. On Saturday, Goodland took second to 5A Topeka West in the Russell tournament and stands at 11-1. The Cowgirls won their pool and defeated Claflin-Central Plains in the semifinals.
Goodland was 34-10 and 37-6 in volleyball the last two seasons. Before then, Goodland volleyball collectively won 34 matches in four years.
Goodland was final four in 3A volleyball in ’20 and qualified for state last season.
In basketball, Goodland finished 24-2. Goodland won 14 total games before 12, 18 and 24 wins the last three seasons.
Goodland won 17 of its first 19 sets in the 7-0 start.
The Cowgirls opened with a four-set victory against St. Francis. On Sept. 15, Goodland defeated Norton in three sets. SF is 13-3 and ranked fifth in Class 1A, Division II.
In the team’s most recent statistical release, Weeter has 69 kills, Cure has 60, and junior Jaxi Mitchek has 60. Cure leads with a .365 average. Junior Brooklan Ivans has 13 aces. Cure has 20 blocks.
The top-five players have at between 40 and a team-high 52 digs from Biermann. Lehman has 170 assists.
In 295 sets, Lehman has 2,009 career assists, 636 digs, 426 kills and 206 aces.
Weeter has played in 303 sets with 1,062 kills and 873 digs. She should clear 1,000 career digs.
Last spring, Cure was the state runner-up in the javelin, fifth in the 3A 100 hurdles, eighth in the 300.
Mitchek and Biermann were also solid players in basketball. For softball, she delivered a .629 average with a .667 on-base percentage, both team-highs, for a 10-12 squad. Mitchek was 8-10 and pitched 88.1 innings last season. The Blochlingers and Biermann are batted at least .344.
Last year’s key senior, Emma Lehman is Olivia’s older sister and has seen significant playing time for Colby Community College volleyball this fall.