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Cougar volleyball season comes to an end at Cloud
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There will be no upsets to be had in the post season for the Barton volleyball team. The Cougars season came to an end Wednesday night against Cloud County with a loss in the opening round of the Region VI tournament.
The Thunderbirds defeated Barton at Arley Bryant Gym in Concordia in straight sets, winning 25-9, 25-20, 25-21. The loss ends the Cougars season at 9-24 while Cloud County takes its 22-11 mark into the semifinals Sunday to take on top seeded Hutchinson at the Sports Arena.
“For the most part our effort was very good,” Barton Coach Phil Shoemaker said. “We competed hard, if not as affectively as we would like.”
Barton was slow to start the night, failing to get to double figures in the opening set. The Cougars battled in each of the next two sets but couldn’t get crucial points down the stretch.
In the second set the Cougars fell behind 10-6 when they went on a run to cut the margin to 13-12. The Cougars and Thunderbirds were tied at 18-all as the set went into the critical stages. It was there Cloud dominated. The Thunderbirds went up 20-18 and closed out with a 7-2 run to win 25-20.
Barton played with more urgency in the third set, jumping to a 5-1 lead.  But Cloud came right back to grab a 9-7 lead and pull out to a 15-12 lead. Barton responded to take a 16-15 lead on Cloud.
But the Thunderbirds again scored when they needed it. Cloud scored five straight to take a 20-16 lead then coasted to the 25-21 win.
“We just could not get it going well in the first set, but we kept at it, which was a good sign,” Coach Shoemaker said. “In the second and third sets we executed our game plan much better and we were able to stay close. A couple costly errors, a missed call here and there, and our inability to shut down Cloud’s middle attack cost us the match.”
Cloud had just six hitting errors all night in keeping the pressure on the Cougars.
“Again, I think the effort and competitive attitude was good, and we got good final efforts from our three sophomores – Emily, Jordan, and Ashley,” Coach Shoemaker said. “Ending the season on a loss is not fun, but there were certainly positives within the battle, and over the course of the season we improved a great deal, and learned a lot that will benefit our athletes in the future.