The Barton Community College volleyball team opened up the 2016 season and first-year Head Coach Brandon Stephenson's era Tuesday night at the Barton Gym with a sweep of the junior varsity of Kansas Wesleyan University 25-11, 25-16, and 25-14. The Cougars have little time to celebrate the victory as Barton hosts Jayhawk foe Cloud County Community College on Wednesday night in a 6:30 p.m. conference opening match.
The Cougars raced out to an early five point lead doubling up the young Coyotes mid-way through the opening set. Behind the setting of freshman Carolina Goncalves, the spreading of the wealth amongst the new-look Cougars resulted in a .307 attack as Barton closed out the set on a 9-4 run.
A second wave of Cougars took the floor for the second set with Leah Fisher directing the offense to a 10-4 lead. Building the lead out to nine, the Coyotes' second timeout did little to slow the momentum as a 5-1 run closed out the set giving the Cougars a two set advantage.
With the first wave reinserted for the third, the Cougars built another early lead with Monique Oliveira tacking on three more coming out of a timeout making it 15-5. Mixing multiple players into the lineup the rest of the set, Barton went on for the sweep 25-14 to open the season with a victory for the first time since 2011.
Oliveira led five Cougars with four or more kills collecting six in two sets of action for a .455 percentage. Nathalia Gouveia's .625 produced five kills while Hannah Beam and freshmen Averie Warehime and Micaela Jellison hammered down four. Goncalves dished out seventeen assists with Fisher accounting for twelve while on the defensive side Beam had two solo blocks with Lydia Konrade leading with fifteen digs.
Barton will open conference play on Wednesday against the T-birds of Cloud County, a team who swept the Cougars in their three meetings last year including a season ending Region VI first round match in Concordia.