LIBERAL — The second half of the conference slate didn’t start any better than the first time through for the Barton Community College volleyball team.
The Lady Cougars started the second time through the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference West with a trip to Liberal to battle Seward County, falling to the Saints in straight sets.
Seward rolled by the Lady Cougars, winning 25-14, 25-19, 25-20 Wednesday night at the Green House.
The loss dropped Barton into a tie for sixth in the conference with a 3-6 West mark and a 5-20 overall record. Seward is tied for third in West with a 6-4 record and an 18-12 overall mark.
The Lady Cougars were without Kim Hockley and Emily Deterding during the match. Barton made some changes this week as well according to Barton head coach Phil Shoemaker.
“We implemented some changes this week to help improve our offense but between the defensive difficulties, ineffective communication and some lineup changes we never really got going,” Shoemaker said.
The first set started even with teams tied at 6-all but that would be the last time the Lady Cougars would be close. Seward reeled off the next seven points for a 13-6 lead that reached 19-9 on the way to the 25-14 win.
After Seward jumped to a big lead early in the second set, Barton battled back to cut the lead to 16-12 midway through the set. The Lady Cougars however weren’t able to keep pace as the Saints pushed the lead to 22-13 on the way to the 25-19 win.
The third set played out much like the second with Seward taking an early lead and Barton cutting it to 13-10. Seward responded with a 7-1 run and extended it to 24-13. Barton made things interesting but Seward held on for the 25-20 win.
“Seward is an aggressive team,” Shoemaker said. “We did not pass block or defend with the efficiency needed to mount a successful counter attack.
“Beyond that our chemistry was pretty poor which is certainly not a formula for success.”
Kylie Jones led the Lady Cougars hitting attack with six kills followed by Jessica Sewell with five. Lakyn Rowen and Casey Friesen each had 11 assists for Barton.
Mykela Riedl led Barton with eight digs and Jennica O’Neill added six.
The Lady Cougars will be back in action Saturday when they hit the road to southwest Kansas again this time to tangle with Garden City.
The Broncbusters are currently right behind the Cougars in the standings with a 3-7 West mark and an 8-16 overall record.