OVERLAND PARK— The Barton Community College volleyball team was out to put an end to a losing skid over the weekend. But in the way was a tough slate.
Four ranked NJCAA division II opponents stood in their way at the Johnson County Challenge in Overland Park. When it was over the Cougars were still looking to end that losing streak.
Barton dropped all four extending it’s losing streak to 14 games. Barton is now 5-17 on the season.
“The competition this weekend was very strong and I think we grew as a team particularly our competitive spirit and had some improved performances, individually and collectively,” Barton coach Phil Shoemaker said.
The Cougars opened play Friday with a loss to No. 6 Des Moines Area (Iowa) 25-19, 25-25, 25-20. The Cougars closed out Friday with another straight set loss to No. 9 Central Community College (Neb) 25-18, 25-13, 25-19.
Saturday Barton opened with the top ranked team in D-II, falling to No. 1 Parkland College (Mo), 25-16, 25-22, 25-14.
The Cougars best effort of the weekend came in the final match in a battle against No. 11 Kirkwood (Mo). Kirkwood won the 4-set match 33-30, 27-29, 25-22, 25-18.
“As a team our serve receive was better overall. We made some defensive system changes which resulted in better backcourt play,” Shoemaker said . “Our block is showing improvement and we had some good offensive production too.”
“We continue to make a lot of errors, which points to our inexperience, but the quality of the errors is improving if that makes sense; we are being more aggressive,” he said.
Jordan Edelman led Barton with 12 kills in the loss to Des Moines Area (15-1). Nathalia Gouveia had eight kills and 11 digs. Lydia Konrade paced Barton with 15 digs. Olivia Naccarato added seven digs and four blocks. Mallory McQueen had 28 assists.
Against Central Community College, Edelman led Barton with eight kills and four blocks. Gouveia added seven blocks and Konrade 16 digs. McQueen had 20 assists.
Gouveia led the Cougars with 12 kills and Emily Deterding added 11 in the loss to Parkland. Konrade had 12 digs and McQueen 28 assists.
In the finale against Kirkwood, Gouveia paced the Cougars with 17 kills. Naccarato added 15 and Deterding 12. Konrade led Barton with 24 digs while McQueen had 34 assists and 13 digs. Naccarato ended with five blocks.
“I do believe that our athletes are now seeing the correlation between effective pre-contact preparation, and the ability to be more aggressive/successful on the attack, as well as the importance of alternative shot selection in our choices sometimes,” coach Shoemaker said.
“As athletes and coaches we live in a very outcome oriented world, but the outcomes we are seeking are built on a developmental process. Our process is improving, and I think our athletes are recognizing how hard you have to work to get those coveted wins.”