No need to worry.
The transition from regular season to postseason didn’t slow the momentum at all.
The Barton Community College volleyball team just keeps mowing down its opponents. After winning their final five matches of the regular season, the Lady Cougars made it six straight, this time a Region VI opening-round win over Cloud County.
Barton defeated Cloud 25-9, 25-20, 25-18 on Wednesday night at Kirkman Activity Center in the final home match of the regular season.
The win moved the Lady Cougars to the double-elimination portion of the Region VI postseason.
Barton advances to Hutchinson to play in the four-team event to take on the winner of the Hutchinson-Dodge City contest. Hutch and Dodge play tonight.
Barton improved to 13-18, while Cloud ends its season at 12-14. The Lady Cougars have won 18 of 22 sets during their six-match winning streak.
“It was a very good win tonight. I think in the opening set, our efficiency and composure set the tone for the rest of the match,” Barton head coach Phil Shoemaker said. “I think we dictated flow very well, something we have been working on.”
Wednesday, with several fans donning Halloween costumes, the Lady Cougars jumped on top early to start the night.
Barton bolted to a 6-1 lead in the opening set and was never challenged. it pushed the lead to 15-6, then rode the serve of McKenzie Piland to a 21-7 lead.
Kiara Rivera closed out the game with four service points as Barton’s biggest lead of the set came with the 25-9 final.
Cloud jumped out to a 7-3 in the second, forcing Shoemaker to call a timeout for the Lady Cougars, but it didn’t stop the Cloud surge as the T-Birds eventually got the lead to 9-3.
Barton got back in the set with the serving of Hoisington freshman Mykela Riedl and the strong play of the front line to make it a 10-9 contest.
Barton finally tied the contest at 15-all and took its first lead at 18-17 on a Jenna Reid kill.
Mackenzie Orchard’s made it 21-18 Barton on the way to a 25-20 win.
Barton again fell behind in the third set, 3-0, but quickly rebounded to even it at 3-all.
From there, Barton created some separation. The Lady Cougars opened up a 9-5 lead and gradually extended that lead to 12-7, then 15-9 before holding off some mini runs from the Thunderbirds.
Cloud got no closer than three the rest of the way as Barton won the third and final set 25-18.
Barton was led by Orchard and Jori Mote with 10 kills each. Piland added nine as Barton record 40 kills to just nine errors.
Piland had three service aces. Casey Friesen led Barton with 24 assists.
Defensively, Tahje Ochs and Reid each had two blocks while Rivera recorded 14 digs. Piland added 10 digs and Riedl eight.
“We had some really terrific offensive numbers overall, very few errors in all areas,” Shoemaker said. “Our serve and pass was very good. we really kept the ball in great position for us, and our block was good even though we didn’t have that many stuff blocks.
“It was a great note to end the home season on and ready for the trip to Hutch. As might be expected, our fans were even more awesome than usual.”
Barton will play its first game of the Region VI championships on Sunday, Nov. 10, at noon. Barton will play two games the opening day with the event concluding on the following day.
The winner moves on to the NJCAA Championships on Nov. 21-23 in Casper, Wyo.
Joining Barton as winners Wednesday night was Jayhawk West Co-Champ and the No. 2 seed in the event Colby. Colby defeated Pratt 25-15, 25-12, 25-15 at the Community Building in Colby. In addition to the Dodge at Hutch match tonight, Garden City will travel to Seward County for the final opening-round match on Tuesday.