The first half of the Jayhawk West volleyball slate got off to a great start for the Barton Community College Cougars.
But that is where it stopped. The Cougars won the first two matches then dropped the final six the first time through the conference schedule. It ended with a loss at the Barton Gym Monday night to Seward County.
Seward defeated the Cougars, 25-20, 25-12, 25-21. That puts Barton at 2-6 in the West and 5-18 overall. The Saints remain in second place in the West with a 7-1 conference mark and a 16-7 overall record.
“It was not a good night,” Barton coach Phil Shoemaker said. “We made too many errors, bottom-line. Right now we have some demons that need to be exorcised, skills strengthened, and decision making abilities improved.”
Barton did get off to a good start in the match, jumping to a 10-3 lead. But the Saints quickly rebounded, scoring seven straight at one point to grab a 15-13 lead and never trailed again.
In the second set, the Cougars fell behind early and never challenged the Saints.
The third set saw Barton battle to the end. The Cougars led 14-10 at one point in the match and held a slim lead much of the way.
Barton still led 20-18 before three straight gave Seward a lead it would not relinquish. The Saints closed out the set on a 7-1 run for the 25-21 win and the match.
Barton managed 25 kills in the game but also had 23 errors. Barton also had eight service errors and four receiving errors. Olivia Naccarato led Barton with nine kills. Lydia Konrade had 11 digs and Naccarato a pair of service aces. Mallory McQueen ended the night with 23 assists.
Barton will look to break a prolonged losing skid with a trip to Garden City tonight. The Cougars defeated Garden in their first meeting at the Barton Gym to open the West season.
“As we begin the second half of our KJCCC schedule I am confident that we have the ability to win matches,” coach Shoemaker said. “However, we have a lot to prove to ourselves, our fans, and of course our opponents.”