Sour loss for Lady Busters
By J. LEVI BURNFIN
Garden City Community College and Hutchinson seemingly cannot complete a game without some aspect of controversy as the Lady Buster volleyball team hosted the Lady Dragons on Wednesday night.
After Saturday's flag-ridden, sloppy football matchup, there were several more controversial calls at the Perryman Athletic Complex during the conference volleyball contest. And just like Saturday, Hutchinson came out on the winning end, 3-1, after a hard-fought, but ugly 25-12, 21-25, 25-20, 25-22 match.
Sticking to script, the final point came on an error by the Lady Busters (1-3, 2-11) as they were called for misalignment, awarding the Lady Dragons (2-1, 5-6) the match-point, which head coach Harvey Sanders argued with the official to no avail.
"I'm not going to worry about that," he said after the game. "Calls are calls. We have much more control over ourselves and what we do. Again, our error issue kind of plagued us."
That error issue is something the team seemed to have solved on Monday in their straight-set win over Dodge City, but it crept back up on Wednesday. In the closing set, the Lady Busters committed 14 errors, effectively giving the Lady Dragons the close set and match.
That's after starting the contest very slowly, falling behind quickly 10-1 in the first set. The Lady Busters were never able to dig themselves out of the early hole, giving Hutch the easy first-set victory.
"If we had showed up on time instead of 10 minutes late, we might be writing a different story right now," said Sanders.
That story could have been an upset victory for Garden City if it could have competed in the first set. Because in the second, Garden City rode a 13-5 run to end the second set with a win, after trailing 16-12.
"We can play with them," Sanders said. "I think we frustrated them and surprised them, which is good. I think we surprised ourselves a little bit, too."
In the set, there was a question over the score for Hutch, which ended up with the scorekeeper adding a point to Hutchinson's total. But after the delay, Garden City seemed to steal the momentum, scoring four-straight points.
Even in the Lady Busters' best stretches, their errors were still prevalent. Sophomore Taylor Winchester settled under the ball in the second set but was seemingly called off by another player who was late getting to the spot as the ball dropped harmlessly between the two players.
"We kind of had, not the brightest plays, let's just say that," Sanders said. "Those are the things if you're mentally fresh, you don't have those problems."
Though the Lady Busters overcame that error in the second, they couldn't in the third and fourth despite early leads. They led 2-0, 7-6, 9-8 and 14-13 in the third set before falling short.
In the fourth, they jumped out to an early 5-0 lead and stretched it to 10-4 before Hutchinson went on an 8-1 run to pull ahead 12-11. Both teams exchanged points until it was 23-22 in Hutchinson's favor before Hutchinson put the match away with the misalignment error on Garden City.
The loss finished off the Lady Busters' three-match homestand with a 1-2 record. They'll now hit the road to face Seward County, which is 2-1 and 6-5, at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday.