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Barton volleyball survives pair of 5-set thrillers; sit near top of West
Alyssa Herter, Great Bend freshman, sets the ball for the Cougars
Alyssa Herter, Great Bend freshman, sets the ball for the Cougars Thursday during Barton’s win over Hutchinson. The Cougars won a 5-set battle with the Blue Dragons Thursday then won another 5-set thriller at Butler Saturday to keep pace with the West lead.
Special to the Tribune

It has been a wild couple of days for the Barton volleyball team as the Jayhawk West race heats up.
The Cougars notched a pair of 5-set wins over a 3-day span, beating a red-hot Hutchinson team Thursday at the Barton Gym, then rallying for a 5-set win over Butler in El Dorado Saturday.
When the dust settled, Barton is 7-1 in the Jayhawk West, nipping at the heels of the lead. In fact, Barton is tied the loss column at the top of the standings with Seward County. The Saints are 8-1.
At the Power Plant Saturday afternoon, Barton was playing catchup nearly the entire way before pulling out a 25-22, 22-25, 15-25, 25-19, 15-9 win.
That was the fourth straight win for the Cougars. Things don’t slow down for a while as the Cougars host a dangerous Garden City team Monday then Independence Tuesday. Both West matches will start at 6:30 pm
In the win at Butler, the two teams were in a battle in the fifth set with Barton clinging to a 9-8 lead.
That is when Barton went on a run. Jadyn Brown got a kill followed by a Tasiah Nunnery sliding save that found an open spot on the Butler side of the net to make it 11-8.
A violation on Butler put the Cougars in command at 12-8 then a kill attempt into the net by Butler made it 13-8 on the way to the 15-9 win.
Barton scored a big win Thursday night in front of the loudest crowd of the season by knocking off Hutch.
The Blue Dragons came in the hottest team in the Jayhawk West, winners of eight straight – five of those West contests including handing Seward County its only conference loss.
The teams traded sets before Barton won in five, 25-27, 25-18, 24-26, 27-25, 15-10.
The epic battle looked like it might go the way of the Blue Dragons as Hutch took control of things in the fourth set.
Hutch was leading 20-15 in that final set. Hutch still led 22-19 before four straight by Barton, two on blocks from Addison Crites, gave Barton as 23-22 lead.
But Hutch would get two match points – 24-23 and 25-24. A Crites kill tied it, Maria Santos gave Barton the lead and a Blue Dragon gave Barton the set.
The final set was anti-climactic as Barton rode the momentuem of the fourth set to a 4-0 lead that grew to 10-5 on the way to the win.

Santos led Barton with 20 kills. Mylena Testoni added 13. Crites had six blocks. Isabella Guedes led Barton with 35 assists.