After appearing to gain some momentum that past couple of weeks, the Barton Community College volleyball team seems to have lost it in a pair of matches this week.
After losing in three straight sets at Cowley College on Monday the Lady Cougars did likewise Wednesday at home to Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference West foe Colby.
Barton fell to the Trojans at the Barton Gym, 25-17, 25-19, 25-22.
The win kept Colby among a group in a battle for second the West, while Barton slipped into the bottom half. Colby is now 5-3 in the West while the Lady Cougars are 3-4. Barton is 5-18 overall while Colby improves to 9-13.
“Colby is a big physical team, and tonight we learned that for us to stay in a match versus a bigger opponent we have to be able to pass and set the ball much better in order to give us more and better scoring chances,” Barton head coach Phil Shoemaker said.
Colby didn’t have much trouble in the opening set as the Trojans were in command all game long. The Lady Cougars battled in the final two sets much better.
The two clubs battled for most of the second set and Barton led 18-17 late in the match. But the Trojans scored 8 of the final 10 to secure the 25-19 win.
Colby jumped out to an early lead in the third set, but a 10-5 run Barton tied the contest at 15-all midway through the game.
The two were still tied at 19 but the Trojans finished on a 6-3 run for the 25-22 win and the West road sweep.
“We responded better in sets two and three, but not well enough,” Shoemaker said. “We dug a bunch of balls tonight, so we were in the fight, and again sets two and three were better for us with hitting and blocking, but again, not enough.
“Colby was very aggressive with its serves and we did not pass as well as needed. They had a good game plan, took advantage of a couple of our weaknesses, they controlled the ball better, and got their hitters going early.”
The Lady Cougars had 32 kills in the three sets led by Emily Deterding with eight.
Casey Friesen had 12 assists to pace the Lady Cougars with Abigayle Rziha adding 10. Three Lady Cougars reached double figures in digs led by Mykela Riedl with 11. Friesen and Jennica O’Neill both added 10.
Barton will play its third match of the week Saturday when West leader Hutchinson comes to the Barton Gym for a 1 p.m. start time.
Hutchinson will bring a 7-0 West record to campus and a 13-6 overall mark. The Blue Dragons have won 9 of their last 10 matches and four straight.
“We have a big challenge ahead of us Saturday afternoon with Hutch coming to town,” Shoemaker said. “Nobody in the league has been able to solve them yet but I think Colby gave us a good idea of what to prepare for.”