A quick glance of the Barton volleyball schedule shows a flurry of games early in the season.
The Cougars opened the 2017 campaign with 11 matches in the first nine days and 17 matches in the opening 16 days of the season.
A grueling task to say the least.
After starting with a 4-0 record opening weekend, the Cougars dropped their second straight Jayhawk West match Wednesday to fall to 4-2 on the season. Barton is 0-2 in the West.
The Cougars lost at Butler Wednesday night after a home loss to No. 18 Seward County. The Grizzlies picked up a 25-20, 21-25, 25-11, 25-23 win inside the Power Plant. It was the conference opener for Butler, now 4-1 overall on the season.
The opening set was back-and-forth in the early stages before the Grizzlies seemed to take control, leading 18-12. But Barton battled back to make it 18-17 before Butler closed on a 7-3 run.
Barton would even the match at one set apiece. The Cougars were in control nearly the entire second set, leading 6-1 out of the gates. Butler made things interesting on a couple of occasions but Barton was in control throughout the 25-21 set win.
The pivotal third set turned out to be a drubbing by the Grizzlies. Leading 13-10, Butler would go on a 12-1 run to win the third set.
The fourth set was looking a lot like the third as Butler dominated early in taking a 10-3 lead. The lead was at 18-10 and up to 24-17 before Barton made one last push. The Cougars scored six straight to cut the margin to a single digit, but Butler finally closed it out on its seventh match point.
The schedule continues to provide no rest for the weary as Barton hosted Trinidad State (Colo) Thursday night as a prelude to the Barton Classic this weekend. Barton will take on Lamar (Colo) Friday at 1 p.m. and McCook (Neb) at 7 p.m. at the Barton Gym.
The Cougars are back at it Saturday with matches against Casper (Wyom) at 1 p.m. then they finish with traditional NJCAA powerhouse and No. 6 ranked Western Nebraska at 5 p.m..
The Classic will also have No. 7 Indian Hills in town. A top 10 showdown will occur Saturday at 11 am when Indian Hills and Western Nebraska square off.