The Barton Community College volleyball team took a big step in a positive direction Tuesday night at the Power Plant as the Cougars won a five-set thriller over Butler Community College 10-25, 25-13, 13-25, 25-19, and 15-13. Playing their third five-setter in the last five matches, the Cougars’ rally from the 2-1 set deficit snapped a four match slide. Barton improves to 4-16 on the season but more importantly improves to 3-3 in conference play while Butler slips to 1-4 and 7-10 overall. Barton will have a quick turnaround for its next match as the Cougars will step out of conference play on Wednesday in a 6:30 p.m. match at the Barton Gym against Marshalltown Community College.
Barton didn’t get off to a good start as the Grizzlies outscored Barton 19-5 in a decisive 25-10 win. The Cougars quickly turned the tide in the second racing out to a 7-1 lead before Butler clawed back to within three. Barton built the lead back out to 17-11 and despite a Butler timeout to slow the momentum, the Cougars ran off eight of the next ten points to win 25-13.
With the match deadlocked at one, Butler broke open the tight third set with a 6-1 run to grab a 16-9 lead. A Barton timeout slowed down the Grizzlies but Barton was never able to string a run together in falling 25-13.
Needing to win the fourth Barton gained separation with a 5-0 run to increase its lead out to 14-7. The teams matched two-point stretches until a 3-0 run helped swing the momentum to the Grizzlies forcing Barton to call a timeout. Leading 21-16 the Cougars gained the next point to keep Butler at arms length in going on to win 25-19.
Having dropping two five-set matches this past weekend in the Wyo-Braska Tournament, Barton stayed just a step ahead of the Grizzlies early in the set then approaching the switchover, the Cougars were able to get a valuable point to hold a slim 8-6 lead. Following another Barton point to stretch the lead to three, a controversial tip swung the momentum to Butler as the Grizzlies rattled off four straight to gain the lead at 10-9. Back came the Cougars with two straight, then following back-to-back points the teams stood at 12 apiece.
In what hasn’t been a huge strength for the Cougars this season, blocking proved pivotal in the fifth set enabling the Cougars’ win. Freshman Jordan Edelman got the first of back-to-back blocks followed by sophomore Jenna Reid‘s stuff of the Grizzly attack giving the Cougars match point at 14-12. Following a Barton attack error to cut the lead to one, Hoisington sophomore Mykela Riedl gave Barton its second five-set win in six matches this season with a back row kill.