When the dust cleared Wednesday night, the Barton volleyball team knew exactly where it stood in the upcoming post season.
The Cougars loss at Hutchinson locked Barton into the fourth spot in the region. Barton lost any outside chance of moving up in the standings. The Cougars had already secured at least a tie for the fourth spot and held the tiebreaker with Cloud County.
Hutch defeated Barton, 25-14, 25-12, 25-21 at the Sports Arena. Cloud lost at Seward County last night as well to make the tie breaker a moot point.
Barton was never in the opening two sets. Barton did lead 3-1 in the first set but an 11-1 run by Hutch put that set out of reach. The Blue Dragons jumped to a 9-2 lead in the second before Barton rallied to cut it to 12-9. A 5-0 run by the Blue Dragons ended Barton’s hope.
The Cougars competed in the third set but couldn’t overcome a key stretch in the middle of the set.
The teams were tied at 10-all when the Blue Dragons went on a 7-1 run to take a 17-11 lead. Barton kept competing in the third set and fought off three match points before Hutch finally put the match away.
Barton still has a pair of regular season games to play. The Cougars will travel to Liberal Wednesday to take on Seward then finish at Garden City Friday.
The post season will get underway with opening round matches Nov. 1 or 2. Barton will get a home match against either Cloud, Butler or Dodge City. The final four will go the sight of the highest seed for a double-elimination event on Nov. 6.