It wasn’t the way they wanted go out.
The sophomores for the Barton Community College volleyball team wanted to go out in style Friday night at the final home match of their careers.
But instead the Lady Cougars lost in the finale at the Barton Gym.
Barton concluded its home slate with a 25-17, 22-25, 25-17, 25-23 loss in a Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference West battle to Butler.
The loss dropped the Lady Cougars to 5-9 in the West and 7-23 overall. Butler improved to 4-10 and 11-19.
“It was a big game on a big night,” Barton head coach Phil Shoemaker said. “We did not come up with a big performance.”
Barton remained in the sixth spot in the West despite the loss but Butler and Garden City are on its heels just one game back with two matches to play before playoffs seedings are set.
“We missed a ton of scoring chances and committed too many errors,” Shoemaker said. “Our defense, blocking and digging gave great effort but we lacked control and were surprised too often. At this point we need to know better.”
The Lady Cougars fell behind in the opening set and found themselves playing catch up the entire way.
Barton tried to slow the Grizzlies with a timeout down 13-8, but it didn’t help as Butler continued to play 5-7 points in front on the way to the 25-17 win.
The Lady Cougars took a lead in the second set midway through at 15-12 and were in control most of the way. The Lady Cougars held off a late Butler rally to win the set 25-22.
In the all-important third set with the match tied at one set each, it was the visitors who again played from in front. Butler led 6-2 early and extended that lead.
Barton cut it to 19-15 but the Grizzlies closed out the match on a 6-2 run for their second 25-17 win of the night.
The fourth set was back-and-forth the entire way.
Barton took an early lead but Butler rallied.
At one point in the set, the Butler coach was tagged with a red card for continuing to argue with officials, awarding Barton a point and tying the set at 16-all.
The tight game continued until Butler finally put the match to bed with the 25-23 win.
The Lady Cougars struggled attacking much of the night committing 38 hitting errors with 53 kills on 182 attempts.
Wichita freshman Jordan Edelman led the Lady Cougars with nine kills followed by Emily Deterding with eight. Sophomores Casey Friesen and Lakyn Rowden led the Lady Cougars in setting with 25 and 13 assists.
Defensively Hoisington sophomore Mykela Riedl had another great night with 23 digs. Fellow sophomores Jennica O’Neill and Larned’s Tahje Ochs added nine.
The Lady Cougars close out the regular season with road games at Colby and Hutchinson this week. Barton travels to Colby Tuesday to battle the third place team in the West then wrap up the regular season at league-leading Hutchinson Thursday. The Blue Dragons are currently unbeaten in West play.
“Now we have a couple tough, tough road game,” Shoemaker said. “We need to gear up for the playoffs and compete at a better level. We can do that.”