COLBY — It was a Halloween night full of suspense at the Community Building in Colby Tuesday night.
The opening round of the Region VI volleyball tournament wasn’t decided until a fifth set was complete.
Unfortunately for the Barton Cougars, a late surge by Colby in that fifth and deciding set ended the Cougars season.
Colby defeated Barton, 24-26, 25-20, 25-20, 21-25, 15-12. That ended the Cougars season with an 18-17 record.
The deciding set saw Barton take an early led before Colby reeled off three straight for a 7-6 lead. Barton would answer with three in a row itself for a 9-7 before Colby tied it at 9-all.
The back-and-forth affair continued. Barton got a kill from Kelsie Antcliff and a service ace from Averie Warehime to take an 11-10 lead. Antcliff would give Barton a 12-11 lead on a kill but Colby would score the final four points of the match finally put an end to the night.
It was a night that had several momentum changes.
The Cougars played from in front most of the first set, holding a slim lead most of the way. Barton led late 21-18 but a 5-0 Colby run put the Trojans on verge of taking the opening set.
Colby led 24-22 but facing match point the Cougars rallied. When Antcliff put down a kill, the Cougars had tied the set at 24-all. Warehime then gave Barton a 25-24 lead with a kill before Kate Deterding’s kill gave the Cougars the first set, 26-24.
Barton took control early in the second set. Following a Warehime kill, the Cougars had built a 13-8 on the Trojans, forcing Colby to call a time out. Eyeing a 2-0 lead in the match, Barton continued to led until late. A 4-0 Colby run gave the Trojans a 22-19 lead.
A Barton timeout couldn’t stop the Colby momentum as the Trojans rolled to a 25-20 win to even the match at one set each.
The pivotal third set saw Colby gain an early 11-8 lead following a 4-0 run. The Trojans never let off the gas. Colby used a 7-1 run to extend the lead to 22-13 and eventually won the set 25-20.
With their backs to the wall, the Cougars again played with the lead most of the fourth set but could never pull away. Colby eventually tied it at 21-all. At that point Barton answered with three straight, taking a 24-21 lead on a Warehime kill before closing out a 25-21 win to force the fifth and deciding set.
The treat for the Colby (23-9) is a date with No. 4 Seward County in the semifinals Sunday afternoon in Liberal. Seward (31-1) had no trouble eliminating Pratt in straight sets. The other semifinal will pit Hutchinson (25-11) against the winner of Wednesday’s Butler and Garden City match.