The chances were there. Chances to knock off the conference leader. But the Barton volleyball team could not seize those opportunities.
The Cougars came up short in their quest to defeat Jayhawk leading Colby on the road Wednesday night. Barton won the first set then lost the next three. Colby won the match 22-25, 25-23, 25-20, 25-21.
Barton remains in fourth place in the Jayhawk with the loss at 8-4. The Cougars are 21-6 overall. Colby stayed atop the standings alone with an 11-1 record and 20-4 overall.
With four conference matches remaining, Barton is just one win from locking up that fourth spot in the post season playoffs.
The Cougars came out to play at the Community Building Wednesday night.
Barton jumped to an early 5-point lead on the Trojans and used a 7-1 run to take a 20-13 lead on the way to winning the opening set.
Barton had its chances in the second set as well. The Cougars and Trojans exchanged punches to start the set with seven ties early in the contest. Barton used a 4-1 run to take a 15-12 lead on Colby and extended it to 18-14.
Colby would respond. The Trojans proved why they lead the conference, going on a 7-0 run to take a 21-18 lead. Barton showed it mettle with a three straight to tie the set at 21-all.
That is when a crucial error cost Barton a point. Barton had a rotation error and Colby was awarded a point to make it 23-22 in favor of the Trojans. Barton was penalized three points in the set with two rotation errors and a service violation. The point awards on the service violation was for not serving within the eight allotted seconds – a rare violation.
Responding to the tough loss in the second set, Barton fired out to a 12-4 lead in the third set. Colby inched its way back into the set to cut the lead to 18-14. The Trojans used an 8-0 run take control of the set. The run gave Colby a 23-19 lead as the Trojans won the set to go up 2-1.
Another tight fourth set saw eight early ties before a 4-0 run gave Colby a 16-13 lead. Baton was able to close the lead to one on a few occasions but were never able to overtake Colby after that 4-0 run.
Barton will take on Cowley College in a non-conference battle next. Cowley plays D-II volleyball in the conference. The Tigers are currently 18-7 overall and ranked No. 7 in D-II. That match will take place Saturday in Arkansas City at 2 pm.
Barton is back home for its final home regular season match of the season when Pratt visits the Barton Gym Monday at 6:30 pm.