The Barton Community College volleyball team just couldn't find a way to get over the hump Monday night at the Barton Gym in dropping straight sets to No. 9 Seward County Community College 26-24, 25-16, and 25-21.
Dropping the back-to-back matches having lost to the Saints last Wednesday in Liberal, Barton falls from third into fifth place at 7-4 and slipping to 17-13 on the season while Seward County won their 35th straight conference match improving to 12-0 and 23-5 overall. Barton will next take on second place and No. 16 ranked Colby Community College (11-1, 23-2) on Wednesday in a 6:30 p.m. first serve.
The Cougars took their first lead of the opening set behind two service aces from Kate Deterding before a Saint error allowed Barton to double up the gap to 11-9. Coming out of the timeout Seward County flip the script to a 15-13 advantage and despite a Barton timeout, continued to roll out to a 22-16 lead. Barton battled back on a 3-1 spurt to burn the Saints' second timeout, then proceeded to string a 4-0 run to knot the set at 24 apiece. The Cougars couldn't keep the momentum as two quick Saints points ended the set at 26-24.
Barton continued to battle in the early part of the second, tying the set at seven before a trio of points gave the Saints the lead for good. Hovering around the three point margin until the 15-12 mark, Seward County took four of the next five increasing the gap to six and continued the march out of Barton's timeout to outscore the Cougars 6-3 down the stretch to go up 2-0 in the match.
Recovering from a three point early third set deficit, Barton surged ahead 9-7 and again led at 10-8 but couldn't stay out in front as a 7-3 Saints' stretch flipped the advantage to a two point lead. Barton tried to hold off the change in momentum with a timeout but the Saints continued its roll, with a 5-0 run stretching the lead to 20-14 with the Cougars burning their final timeout. The Cougars weren't about to go down without a fight, forcing a Seward County timeout behind a 6-0 run but the late push wasn't enough as the Saints wrapped up the match scoring the final two points.