Lady Busters volleyball falls to Cloud Co.
By J. LEVI BURNFIN
Dominique Mays' and Haley Harbour's outstretched arms were just a little bit too short as Cloud County's Kaylee Bontrager scored the final kill in a 3-2 match win, in which Garden City would come up just a little bit too short.
The Lady Busters (3-6, 7-18) took the first and third sets to twice have a one-set lead against the Lady Thunderbirds (4-5, 8-12) on Saturday afternoon at the Perryman Athletic Complex. But the Lady Busters let the final two sets slip out of their grasp, leaving head coach Harvey Sanders with a bitter taste after the close loss (24-26, 26-24, 15-25, 25-17, 16-14).
"That was a little stressful," the first-year coach said. "We lost our focus. We knew what kind of team that was. We knew we were going to have to put stress on them and we stopped doing that."
In the match-deciding fifth set, the Lady Busters went ahead 12-10 on one of sophomore Chinasa Ekweariri's 15 kills. They seemingly had the control. Instead, the Lady T-birds scored four of the next five points to serve for the match at 14-13. A service error gave the Lady Busters a break, allowing them to serve at 14-all. However, a prolonged rally ended in a kill for Cloud County and the 15-14 lead, which led to Bontrager's kill over the attempted blocks of Mays and Harbour.
"I'm very disappointed, very upset," Ekweariri said minutes after the match. "I am a lot of negative feelings."
It wasn't for a lack of effort by Ekweariri, though, who led the team in kills and blocks (8). However, it was Ekweariri's blocked attack in the second set that allowed the Lady T-birds to hold on to a game they had led by as much as 8 points.
Cloud County jumped out to a 14-6 and later had a 21-13 lead in the second before the Lady Busters came roaring back to tie it at 24-24 on Harbour's ace and then Mays' block. But the Lady T-birds easily scored the next two points to tie the match at 1-1.
Garden City dominated the third set, but then got run over in the fourth to set up the fateful fifth.
"That's us not working hard enough, long enough, mentally and physically," Sanders said about the Lady Busters' apparent inconsistency.
Harbour finished tied with Mays with two aces each. Nohelly Brown racked up a team-high 11 digs, and Abby Rennick assisted on a team-high 43 points.
The Lady Busters head back on the road for a conference contest with Barton County (3-5, 7-18) at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday.