DODGE CITY — The quest for the final home playoff spot in the NJCAA Region VI volleyball tournament is in the home stretch for Barton Community College.
In order to get that fourth seed in the post season and host a first-round game, the Lady Cougars more than likely need to run the proverbial table — winning the final remaining Kansas Jayhawk Community College contests. If that does happen to be the case, Barton got off to a great start on Tuesday night, rolling by Jayhawk West foe Dodge City in straight sets.
Barton won at Dodge, 25-18, 25-20 and 25-22, to improve to 5-6 in the West and also in the region.
The Lady Cougars are now 9-18 overall and have won back-to-back matches. They will look to make it three straight with a trip to Pratt today, keeping those home playoff hopes alive. With the loss, Dodge drops to 1-10 in the West and 4-24 overall.
The Lady Cougars were in control the entire evening, getting challenged in the final set of the night before coming away with 25-22 win. The easy win comes on the heels of a come-from-behind win over Garden City in Barton’s previous match.
“Jori (Mote) was our offensive leader tonight,” Barton head coach Phil Shoemaker said. “She came up with some very creative and much needed shots at crucial times. When we kept her in good position, she had a couple knockout shots, too.”
Mote, a freshman from Weskan High School, led the way for Barton with 17 of the 39 kills the Lady Cougars registered on the night. Mackenzie Orchard added seven kills for Barton while McKenzie Piland finished with five.
Casey Friesen recorded 25 assists for Barton with Laykn Rowden adding eight to the cause.
“Kiara (Rivera), Piland and Casey all had strong defensive numbers,” Shoemaker said. “Casey was our most effective setter tonight. We had a solid serving game with only two errors.”
Defensively, Rivera and Piland posted double-digit digs with Rivera leading the way with 13 and Piland following with 10.
Jenna Reid had three blocks to lead Barton.
The Lady Cougars have three more matches left this season, all West and Region VI games.
After traveling to Pratt, Barton will host Cloud County on Tuesday. Then, it travels to Colby on Thursday, Oct. 24.
The Lady Cougars are just a game back of Cloud in the loss column, but even a win over the Lady Thunderbirds may not be enough.
If the two teams finished tied in the standings and split with each other (Cloud won the first match), Cloud would probably get the tiebreaker due to a win over Hutchinson earlier this season.
The Lady T-Birds have Barton and West-leading Colby left on their schedule.
Chances are the opening round match will pit the Lady Cougars and Lady Thunderbirds against each other the final week of October as the fourth and fifth seeds. It will just be a matter of where that match will be played.