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Colby hands Barton loss in West volleyball
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COLBY – The winning streak for Barton was a short one.
Barton was coming off back-to-back Jayhawk West wins with a chance to get closer to the top half of the conference with a trip to Colby Saturday.
Unfortunately for the Cougars, the climb came to a halt at the hands of the Trojans.
Colby won in straight sets the Community Building, beating Barton, 25-6, 25-22, 25-23. The loss drops Barton to 5-8 in the West and 8-21 overall. Colby is now 8-5 and 12-17.
The loss all but assures the Cougars of a finish no higher than sixth in the West.
Barton has three West contests left on the slate – including the final home match of the season when Pratt visits the Barton Gym Wednesday. The regular season winds up next week with trips to Hutchinson and Seward – the top two teams in the West.
Barton was never in the opening set but did give Colby a battle over the final two sets. But the Cougars were never able to steal a game in the loss.
“We are very disappointed in our performance at Colby,” Barton Coach Phil Shoemaker said. “We felt going in that we had a good game plan, and our team was prepared.
“We were not. We failed to compete well at all in the first set. While we did battle much better in the second set, got out to a lead, and held it until late in the set, we again suffered a mental lapse which cost us that set.
“In the third set we were never sharp as a team, and we did not perform well enough to seriously contest the outcome.”
Barton had just 20 kills in the match to 12 errors hitting. The Cougars also committed a combined 17 errors in serving, blocking and receiving.
Offensively Olivia Naccarato led Barton with seven kills while Jordan Edelman added six kills and no hitting errors for the Cougars.
Mallory McQueen had 16 assists and Lydia Konrade 12 digs for the Cougars.
“I guess if there is a positive, it is that we did battle back after our horrible start, and we had some very good plays, but that is not good enough against a talented opponent,” Coach Shoemaker said. “Our mental toughness, something which I felt was improving, slipped against Colby.
“We have only a few matches remaining; each against a top KJCCC team, and we will need to be at our best physically, mentally, technically, and tactically to win. That remains our goal.”
Barton needs just one win or one Butler loss to hold off the Grizzlies for that sixth spot and stay away from Hutch and Seward in the opening round of the Region VI Championships.
Barton currently has the five conference wins while Butler has three. Butler still has matches left with Colby and Dodge City (1-11).
A sixth place effort would most likely pit Barton against Cloud in the opening round.