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Barton volleyball loses at Hutch; playoffs next
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The regular season came to an end for the Barton Community College volleyball team Thursday night on the same court the next phase of the season will take place. The Cougars lost their finale to Jayhawk West champion Hutchinson.
The Blue Dragons capped a perfect Jayhawk West season with a 25-16, 25-15, 25-20 win over the Cougars at the Sports Arena. The loss gives the Cougars a 5-11 West record to end the season. Barton will take a 7-25 overall record to the post season. Hutchinson went 16-0 in the conference and is 24-12 overall.
“As has been true all season in the KJCCC, (Thursday) Hutch was the better team,” Barton coach Phil Shoemaker said. “Our determination to grow and improve, to make the most of each opportunity took a beating.”
Barton now turns focus to the Region VI Championships, which will also take place at the Sports Arena. Hutchinson earned the right to host the playoffs with its West title. The Cougars are the seventh seed in the region and will take on second seed Colby.
Barton was not able to challenge the Blue Dragons as they did earlier in the season at the Barton Gym. In that contest put a scare in Hutch winning the opening set. Thursday Hutch took a 17-10 lead in the opening set before Barton cut the margin to 19-15. But Hutch closed on a 6-1 run for the 25-16 win.
Hutchinson went on an 8-0 run in the second set to go up 12-4 before Barton cut it to 14-9. A quick 6-0 Hutch spurt made it 20-9 on the way to the 25-15 win. The Cougars stayed on Hutchinson’s heels in third set tying the set at 9-all, rallying from 14-9 down to cut it 16-15 and still trailing by a single point at 20-19. The Blue Dragons, however, closed Barton out 25-20 to concluded the regular season.
Kim Hockley and Jessie Sewell each had five kills to lead Barton. Casey Friesen paced the Cougars with 11 assists. Mykela Reidl led Barton with 13 digs  followed by Friesen with10. Jenna Reid had four four blocks.
The battle with Colby Nov. 9 in Hutch will be a rematch from a 5-set thriller in Colby on Tuesday won by the Trojans.
“From now on its win or go home,” Coach Shoemaker said. “I feel like we are making correct moves, giving the effort needed, communicating well, and using correct tactics about half the time from half the team.
“Our goal will be to increase the consistency to much higher levels in each of these critical areas.”
The winner will come back Monday for semifinal action against the winner of Cloud County and Butler. The championship match will be conclude play Monday.