The Barton Community College volleyball team wrapped up the regulars season Friday night with a straight domination over host Garden City Community College 25-12, 25-9, and 25-23. The fourth place Cougars conclude the conference season at 10-6 and 23-9 while Garden City slips to 2-14 and 6-26 on the year. Next up for the Cougars will be the Region VI playoffs as Barton will host 13-19 fifth seeded Cloud County Community College at 6:30 p.m. in the Barton Gym.
The Cougars jumped out 6-0 in the first set and never looked back building the lead out to 18-9 forcing Garden City to burn their final timeout. The break did little to slow the momentum as the Cougars scored the next three then eventually put the opener way with the closing three points for the 25-12 win.
The second set was much like the first, the Cougars forcing an early Broncbuster timeout out 9-3 then scoring five of the next seven exploding the lead out to 14-5 burning the remaining Garden City flow breaker. Barton put the hammer down from that point including a 5-0 run going on to score eleven of the last fifteen points for a dominant sixteen point victory.
The script flipped in the third with the Broncbusters having the early edge only to have Barton claw its way back to a seven point tie. The Cougars methodically took control from there looking to close out on a 23-17 but the Broncbusters refused to go down easily. Rattling off four straight to close within three, Barton got to match point before two more Garden City points forced the Cougars to call its first timeout. The rally would be put to an end on a hitting error and Barton took the finale 25-23.
Finishing sixth in the Jayhawk Conference last season at 6-10, the Cougars under first-year Head Coach Brandon Stephenson not only improved two slots in the conference standings winning four more matches, but improved by fourteen victories overall as well. The twenty-plus win season is also Barton's first since 2011 and marks the 28th time in its thirty-seven years of competition of achieving twenty-two or more wins in a season.