The Barton Community College volleyball team fought off a pesky Pratt Community College Monday night at the Skyline High School gymnasium to earn a 3-1 conference victory 26-24, 16-25, 25-21, and 28-26.
The victory keeps Barton in third place at 7-2 improving to 17-11 while Pratt drops to 3-8 and 10-17. The Cougars' next two matches come against conference leading and No. 11 ranked Seward County Community College (10-0, 21-5) with the first bout coming Wednesday in Liberal and the second coming next Monday at the Barton Gym. First serve set for 6:30 p.m. for both matches.
The Cougars dug large deficits in both the first and second sets, climbing out of the opening set with a 9-0 run to turn an eight point hole into a 23-22 lead on Migle Mazurkeviciute's cross-court kill. Pratt battled back in grabbing the next pair in setting up set point but the Cougars tied it up and then following a great dig by libero Karina de Oliveira, Kate Deterding's attack put Barton in the lead as Mackenzie Pease's center attack capped the come-from-behind victory.
Barton again started out slow in the second to fall behind 16-9 as not even a timeout could slow the momentum as Pratt stretched the lead out to nine. The teams traded points the rest of the way with the Beavers tying up the match with the nine point win.
Playing the match at the high school due to leaks in Pratt's home Dennis Lesh Sports Arena, the Beavers played like they were perfectly comfortable in the different setting in carrying the momentum into the third building a modest 8-5 lead. The Cougars chipped away at the lead to tie it up at ten but the set would go back and forth until Barton eventually regained the advantage at 18-17. Extending the margin to six and a set point, the Beavers closed within three but the Cougars responded out of a timeout to seal the 25-21 and take the match lead again.
The fourth had the Cougars out strong with an early four point lead while Pratt struggled to get back its energy until outscoring Barton 6-2 to knot the set at ten. Barton took seemingly control from there with a 5-0 spurt but the pesky Beavers kept battling back to eventually force extra points with the Cougars putting down the final two points to conclude the match.