HUTCHINSON — Opening the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Western Division conference volleyball season on the road is never an easy one.
Barton fell in three straight games, 21-25, 23-25, and 20-25, to No. 11 Hutchinson.
The loss keeps the Cougars winless on the season at 0-5. Hutch, the predicted top team in the Jayhawk West, improves to 4-1.
Barton will look to secure its first win of the season in its home opener on Saturday against Hesston College. The match starts at 11 a.m. Admission is free.
Hutchinson built a 6-0 lead in the first set before the Cougars pulled within 11-10.
The Dragons countered with a 5-2 run to open the decisive gap as Barton could only muster multiple points twice the rest of the set.
Hutchinson wasn’t much better, but a late 3-0 run helped put Barton away in winning the first set 25-21.
Tied at nine in the second set, Hutchinson seized control of the match with four- and three- point runs to build a 17-11 lead.
With service errors plaguing the Cougars throughout the second set, a service error ended a three-point run, drawing Barton back to within three.
The Dragons would score five of the next six points to reclaim a commanding 22-16 lead.
Hutchinson was on the brink of securing the set before the Cougars rattled off six straight points to draw within one.
Unofficially with six service errors in the set, the Cougars bid to tie the Dragons fell just shy as Kiara Rivera’s serve missed its mark and Hutchinson prevailed 25-23.
The third nd final set of the match was a slugfest as neither team put together their best play of the night.
The Cougars grabbed their first lead of the night at 5-4. Featuring eight ties in the third and final set, Hutchinson got separation from the pesky Cougars after being tied for the last time at 19.
A pair of three-point runs sealed the deal as the No. 11 Dragons outscored Barton 6-1 down the stretch to capture the 25-20 victory and win the Jayhawk West opening match for both teams 3-0.