Five set matches have not been kind to the Barton Community College volleyball team this season. Tuesday night in Colby the Cougars played a 5-set match for the ninth time this season. For the seventh time, Barton lost that fifth and deciding set.
This time it was Colby Community College coming away with the win, 25-21, 26-24, 18-25, 10-25, 15-12. The Cougars nearly pulled off the big comeback after dropping the first two set and actually outscored Colby by 13 points on the night but in the end it was another tough setback for Barton.
“Close but no cigar,” Coach Phil Shoemaker said following the Jayhawk West contest. “We battled very well tonight and it is disappointing that we didn’t get the final result that we worked hard for.”
It was a night that saw Barton take early leads in nearly every set. Barton kick-started the night by taking a 6-3 lead in the opening set. Colby rallied to take grab an 11-8 lead and pushed that margin to 21-15. Barton cut the lead to a pair but Colby finished the Cougars off 25-21.
Barton once again opened a lead in the second set, this time grabbing leads of 4-0 and 10-3. The Cougars seemed to be in control of things leading 21-14. That is when Colby put together perhaps the most crucial run of the night – a 7-0 run to tie the match. The match was still tied at 24 before Colby scored the final two points for a 26-24 win.
Barton took control of the third set with a 5-1 run to grab a 19-13 lead and kept their margin the rest of the way for a relatively easy 25-18 win.
The fourth set was even easier. With the teams tied at 5-all Barton went on a 6-1 run and kept going. The Cougars routed the Trojans 25-10 to even the match at two sets apiece.
That set up another fifth set – the fourth in 15 Jayhawk West matches alone. This time it was Colby who grabbed an early lead at 8-4. Barton responded with a 5-1 run to even the set at 9-all. Barton capped a 6-0 run for an 11-9 lead before a controversial call ended the Barton run. The teams were tied at 12-all before Colby closed out strong with a 3-0 run for the 15-12.
For the most part, the Cougars cut back on their errors with more than four in only two of the five sets. Unfortunately for Barton one of those sets was the fifth when Barton committed seven errors. In the end, each team finished with 52 kills and errors were close as well with Barton committing 25 and Colby 22.
Freshman Emily Deterding led the hitting attack for Barton. The freshman from Lindsborg had a career high 18 kills on 30 attempts with only four errors. Jessie Sewell added 11 kills. Casey Friesen paced Barton with 30 assists, 16 digs and added a pair of service aces. Mykela Riedl led Baron with four aces and added 15 digs. Jenna Reid led Barton with five blocks and Kylie Jones added four.
“Emily had a big night offensively and Jenna, Jessie and Casey all contributed really well,” Coach Shoemaker said. “Our overall defense was about as good as we have been all year.
“When you play close matches against good teams it will come down to just one or two critical plays, errors or calls. Such was the case tonight. The challenge is to continue to improve and to win when it matters most – in the playoffs.”
As far as the playoffs are concerned this year is a different format. The Region VI tournament will be played at the conference champion’s campus in a single elimination event. That means Hutchinson will host the event.
Barton is more than likely looking at the seventh seed unless they can pull off an upset of Hutchinson tonight. Barton is 5-10 (7-24 overall) in the West with only Hutch (15-0, 23-12) left on the regular season slate. A matchup with Colby is possible in the first round. Colby is done in the West at 11-5 and 16-18 overall. Another possibility would Cloud County (10-5, 18-7).
The brackets will set after games tonight with the opening round slated for Nov. 9 and the semifinals and finals Nov. 10 at the Sports Arena in Hutchinson.