A much needed win.
That is what the Barton Community College volleyball team earned Monday night.
After dropping back-to-back, five-set battles at the Barton Gym, the Lady Cougars were definitely in need of a win. That is just what they got over Dodge City, winning 25-19, 25-27, 25-19, 25-21.
It wasn’t the prettiest of outings against the last-place team in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference West, but it was a much needed for Barton as it positions itself for the upcoming post season in a couple of weeks.
The win improved Barton to 5-8 in the West and strengthened its hold on sixth place in region standings. Dodge City remains winless in the West at 0-13 and saw its losing streak reach 23.
“All in all we did battle well, overcame some rough patches, and made progress,” Barton head coach Phil Shoemaker said. “I think both teams were in it to win it, so the competitiveness was very good.”
The opening set saw the two teams in a tight battle until a late run by Barton put the set away.
Barton ended the set on a 9-3 run for the 25-19 win in the opener.
The second set was similar as the teams traded the lead in another tight set. The contest was tied several times including at 25-all before the visitors closed out the set with a pair of points for the 27-25 win, wiping away the Lady Cougars chances of sweep.
In the third set, Barton played from in front.
The Lady Cougars used a 4-0 run to take an 11-5 lead and kept Dodge City at bay the remainder of the set on the way to the 25-19 win.
Barton closed out the night with a 25-21 win the final set to match a four-set win Barton had between the two teams in Dodge City earlier this season.
Barton collected 51 kills in the match and committed 29 errors in the process, but it was good enough to escape with the win.
Larned sophomore Tahje Ochs led the way with 12 kills.
Sophomore Laykn Rowden led the Lady Cougars with 22 assists while classmate Casey Friesen added 20. Friesen had an efficient night hitting as well with five kills and no errors in eight attempts.
But while the Lady Cougars struggled on offense at time the defense was stellar headlined by 77 digs.
“Thank goodness for defense,” Shoemaker said. “Our blocking and digging kept us this one. Among our goals for this one were to swing more aggressively on the attack, more frequently, and not settle for giving away so many free balls. I think the effort was there, but we did make an awful lot of errors on the process.”
Hoisington sophomore Mykela Riedl earned several floor burns with a career-high 30 digs. Another sophomore Jenna Reid led the Lady Cougars with seven blocks.
Those five sophomores along with Jessie Sewell and Jennica O’Neill will be on the Barton Gym floor the final time Friday when Butler pays a visit in the final home match of the season.
Barton could secure at least the sixth spot in the conference with a win as Butler is right behind the Lady Cougars with a 3-9 mark in the West.
The Lady Cougars will close out the regular season with road tilts at Colby and Hutchinson next week.