Lady Cougars fall in opening match of national championships

The Barton Community College volleyball team dropped their first match today at the NJCAA Division I Volleyball National Tournament held at West Plains, Missouri.  Barton, making its twenty-first appearance at the national tournament and seeded No. 14 this year, lost to No. 3 seeded Western Wyoming Community College 25-13, 25-21, and 25-19.   Similar to last year’s first round matchup between the two teams, Western Wyoming knocks the 29-13 Lady Cougars to the consolation side of the double-elimination tournament with 9th place being the best it can achieve at this point.  Barton’s next match will be at 10:00 a.m. on Friday against Temple College with the winner advancing to the 4:30 p.m. match.  Temple, the No. 11 tournament seed, lost to No. 6 Iowa Western 25-20, 25-22, and 25-17.   The Barton-Temple match, as well as, all Barton matches in the NJCAA Tournament can be viewed online at

In a rematch of last year’s opening round match, Western Wyoming dispatched the Lady Cougars in straight sets like the year before.  In set one Western jumped on the Lady Cougars early building a 10-3 advantage forcing a Barton time-out.  The two traded points until the Mustangs scored three in a row to stretch the lead to 19-9.  Barton, who was only able to string two consecutive points together once in the first set, cut the lead to eight at 19-11.  Western went on to score six of the next eight points to win the first set 25-13.

After a 4-4 tie early in the second set, the Lady Cougars went on a 5-0 run to force a Western timeout.  Coming out of the timeout Western would score three in a row to narrow the Lady Cougar lead to two before a Taylor Littleton kill stopped the Mustang run.  After trading points the Lady Cougars went on another three-point run highlighted by another Littleton kill to again match Barton’s biggest lead of the set.  But Western would score five of the next six points to narrow the Barton lead to one at 14-13.  Barton would build back a three point lead behind kills from Littleton and Taylor Arnold but it would prove to be Barton’s last run of the set.  With Barton leading 19-16 Western would rattle off the next three points to tie the set and force a Barton timeout.  Scoring the next point to take its first lead of the set at 20-19, the Mustangs built a 22-19 advantage with Barton taking another timeout to try to stop the run.  Western would score the next two points and despite being countered by a pair of points by the Lady Cougars, would get the set clinching point to win 25-21. 

“We got away from our game plan against a team that will make you pay for that,” said Barton Head Volleyball Coach Patrick Hall.  “We hope to rebound tomorrow with better execution.  Being up 19-16 in the second set showed we can compete against Western Wyoming, but we’ll need to do better than just compete against competition like this.”

In the third and final set, Western led 3-0 before Barton battled back to draw within one at 3-2.  After trading points and each team having mini two-to-three point runs, the turning point came in mid-set when Western scored six of eight points, three coming from service aces.  The Mustangs built a 19-14 advantage Barton was never able to recover from as Western wrapped up the match with a 25-19 set three victory. 

Released:  November 17, 2011

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