Young team, small steps. That is the progression for the Barton Community College volleyball team so far.
The Cougars earned their fourth straight win and climbed above the .500 mark. That’s a step. Especially considering Barton hasn’t been there in four years – above .500.
The schedule has been kind to Barton so far but the Cougars appear to be making strides.
Barton improved to 4-3 overall with another sweep of a junior varsity Monday at the Barton Gym. The Cougars beat the Sterling JV, 25-18, 25-20, 25-21.
“I think we started well, serving aggressively, and successfully, but we did not maintain our leads very well,” Barton coach Phil Shoemaker said. “Though we won in three we did struggle with our consistency, especially in the third set, but we did get the job done when it counted.”
Barton took an early lead in the opening and when Sterling went on a run Barton responded and opened up a 14-5 lead on the way to the 25-18 win.
Barton again led most of the second set and held off a small push by Sterling for the win. In the final set, Sterling built a 13-10 lead before the Cougars closed out the set and the match.
Coming off a win over the Bethany JV in which Olivia Naccarato and Nathalia Gouveia did most of the damage attacking, coach Shoemaker was looking for some other people to get involved.
That person Monday was Hannah Beam. The 5-10 freshman hitter from Royal Valley High School had eight kills on 18 attempts with no errors.
“Hannah Beam had our leading attack efficiency at .444 which is outstanding. Her kill percentage was 44 percent, and no errors, so great to see that from Hannah,” said Shoemaker. “Jordan Edelman attacked at a .375 clip including 50 percent kills. Mallory McQueen dished out 30 assists, and getting 10 per set is something she has been working towards.”
Naccarato and Gouveia both had a good match as well with Naccarato leading the way with nine kills and Gouveia adding six. Naccarato also had six blocks – three solos.
McQueen did lead Barton with 30 assists and along with Lydia Konrade paced the Cougar defense. Both freshmen had 11 digs in the sweep.
Freshman Brittany Ostmeyer stuffed the stat sheet in several categories with two service aces, four kills, one block and three digs.
“Our serve-receive passing as a team was pretty strong with Ashley Lockwood and Nathlalia Gouveia leading the way,” coach Shoemaker said. “As the match went on we became more careless, especially with our serving, so that needs to be corrected.”
Barton will look to make it five straight and move to 2-0 in the conference with a Jayhawk West match Dodge City tonight.
“Our match with Dodge City on Wednesday is very important, and we need to take a couple more steps forward as a team to get the result we want to there,” Shoemaker said. “We continue to work hard, have high goals and expectations. I anticipate that our attitude and effort will be rewarded.”
Barton is currently 1-0 in the West after a 22-25, 25-20, 25-17, 25-23 win over Garden City to open the 3-match home stand that saw Barton finish 3-0.
Dodge City is 0-1 in the West and 2-8 overall. Dodge lost at home to Cloud County, 25-21, 25-10, 25-16.