CONCORDIA, Kan. – Stepping back out of conference play to close out the week, the Cloud County Community College volleyball team would take down Barton Community College in four sets at Erkenbrack Court at Arley Bryant Gymnasium in Concordia, Kansas on Friday, September 6th.
Earning their second four-set victory of the week, CCCC is now 10-0 on the year while the Cougars slipped to 7-4 overall to conclude a season-opening 11-match road trip.
We came out in the first set hard and cleaned house, but had a bit of a letdown in the second set" said head coach Deb Monzon in a post-match interview. "After Wednesday's night match I put a lot of thought into things and wanted to utilize our deep bench to help keep players fresh." "We need to be able to use 10-12 players and not just eight that tends to be our rotation and that is something that we'll keep working on." "We'll also be coming up against some of our better competition in the next few weeks and we're going to have to be able to have depth to be able to get through the season and finish where we want to be at the end of the year."
In the opening set, it would be all T-Birds as Cloud County would score the first four points of the match and jump out to an 8-2 lead as Barton would never truly be able to recover in the set. CCCC's lead would not get lower than five at 11-6 as the Cougars and T-Birds would wind up trading points throughout the middle portion of the set which allowed Cloud County to pull away late by scoring seven of the final 11 points to take the first set 25-15.
Things would stay much closer to begin the second set as neither team would be able to jump out to a lead of more two points throughout the first 23 points of the set with BCC taking a 12-10 lead on a Cloud County attack error. The Barton lead would grow to five at 15-10 to as the Cougars would never be able to pull away until the very end of the set when the final five of the final seven points would go in favor of Barton to tie things up at one set each following a 25-18 win by BCC.
Similar to the start of the second set, neither Barton nor Cloud County could manage to take control of the third set as the two teams would battle to a 10-10 deadlock and trade leads shortly thereafter. Holding a 12-10 lead, Cloud County would manage to score seven of the next eight points to break the set open by grabbing a commanding 19-10 lead as the T-Birds would go on to win the set by a score of 25-19.
Both teams would use 4-0 runs to open the fourth set and keep things close as it would be three straight points from CCCC at 6-6 that would appear to give Cloud County some breathing room. It would be short lived however as Barton would go on a 9-2 run and grab a 15-11 lead on the T-Birds as the Cougars would be poised to send things to a deciding fifth set. Cloud County would battle their way back and tie things at 16-16 on back-to-back blocks as setter Riley Bontrager would go on a 10-point service rally with the T-Birds firing on all cylinders to get to match point at 24-16. Following a point from the Cougars to break serve, CCCC would respond with a kill of their own from Geraldyn Palacios to end the match and give the T-Birds double-digit wins on the year in just three weeks of action.
Leading CCCC offensively would be Dayana Chara with 16 kills to go along with three assists and 11 digs while Emelys Martinez had 14 kills and 14 digs while notching four service aces. Bontrager added two service aces and eight digs to go along with a team-best 38 set assists while Willow Hunt provided 16 digs.
With five days of preparation ahead of them, Cloud County will look to continue their season opening run as the T-Birds will head to Arkansas City to take on Cowley College in Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference action on Wednesday, September 11th. The Tigers were ranked number seven in the latest NJCAA poll, but suffered a three-set home setback to number eight Fort Scott on Wednesday night. Cowley currently sports a 3-2 overall record after a five-set defeat to Navarro College on Friday and has three more matches this weekend at the Wrangler Round Up and will also play at Allen County Community College on Monday before hosting the T-Birds.