A shorthanded Barton Community College Volleyball team made the short trip south to Pratt Community College, returning home after an equally short night on the court as the Cougars were swept 25-22, 26-24, and 25-21. Playing all freshman in the contest, Barton was in all three sets but couldn't close out as Pratt dominated the latter stages of each frame to secure the win improving to 2-0 and 3-7 on the year while sending Barton to its fourth straight loss to open the conference schedule. Now 8-5 on the season the Cougars will head even further south to Odessa, Texas, for the weekend's Odessa College Tournament.
"The freshman fought hard all night," said Head Coach Brandon Stephenson. "They still have some growing to do when it comes to playing with each other but I was proud of their effort."
The young Cougars rattled off five straight early in the match to take a three point lead before a pair of service aces helped spur Pratt on a four point spurt to regain the lead at 11-10. Barton responded with a stretch of outscoring the Beavers 6-1 and later a pair of points increased the lead to 21-15 before the wheels fell off. Pratt battled back to within two with four straight, then following a solo Barton point, stole the set scoring the final six points and ten of the last eleven for the 25-22 win.
In the second it looked as if Pratt would run away with a big win behind a six point run to build a 12-4 lead prompting a Barton timeout. After the lead grew to nine, Barton began a comeback taking seven of the next eight, including a five point run, to draw with 16-13. Eventually getting tied up at 18, Pratt surged ahead by three but Barton threatened to tie the match reaching set point outscoring the Beavers 8-1. Again Pratt ripped at the heart of the Cougars rattling off the final four points in stealing another set with a 26-24 victory.
Once again Pratt looked to run away with the set only to have the Cougars reach deep and battle back. The Beavers opened up with five straight and led 12-5 as Barton called timeout to regroup. Getting three straight to cut the deficit to four and force a Pratt timeout, Barton kept fighting back to eventually cut it to 20-17 on a four point stretch. The comeback continued in drawing to within 22-20 but an untimely service error turned the ball over as the teams traded points the rest of the way for Pratt's 25-21 match clincher.