Less than forty-eight hours after a road victory to wrap up the conference slate, the Barton volleyball team returned to the court nearly 450 miles from home participating in the Western Nebraska Community College Classic. The weekend trip resulted in a four-pack of losses to conclude the Cougars' regular season mark at 18-17.
Next up for Barton will be another long trip as the region's fifth seeded Cougars will make a Tuesday three hour journey to fourth seeded Colby Community College (22-9) in a 6:30 p.m. first serve in the opening round of the Region VI playoffs.
The Cougars began their four match weekend on Friday with a pair of four set losses, the first to No. 12 ranked San Jacinto College-Central 13-25, 15-25, 25-22, and 23-25 before concluding the day taking the first set 29-27 over Laredo Community College but falling in the final three 22-25, 17-25, and 23-25.
A tough day loomed ahead on Saturday as Barton faced a pair of matches against national title contenders. Beginning the day at 10:00 a.m., the Lady Cougars split the first two sets against the nation's second ranked Iowa Western Community College squad bouncing back from a 25-14 defeat to win the second 25-22. Barton looked primed to win its second consecutive set but a critical call at 22-all went against the Cougars as the Reivers took advantage to win 25-23 before capturing the match with a resounding 25-9 score. Following a four hour layoff, Barton took the court for its regular season finale taking on the host and No. 4 ranked Western Nebraska. Hanging around through the mid-point of each set, Barton just couldn't keep up the scoring as WNCC won going away in three 25-19, 25-15, and 25-22.