GCCC spikers fall in semis
By ADAM HOLT
The Garden City Community College volleyball team put up a fight, but couldn't get past a tough Barton squad, as the Lady Busters were eliminated in the Region VI tournament on Sunday in Wichita.
Garden City lost to Barton in four sets, 23-25, 25-18, 25-16, 25-16 to end the season with a 21-20 record.
"I think that was one of the factors the second time we played Barton, is that we just were out of gas, just didn't have any more energy left in the tank," GCCC head coach Rob Lutz said.
The Lady Broncbusters were shorthanded, with 6-foot middle blocker Bailey Eve out with a right ankle injury suffered in Garden City's first-round win over Colby on Tuesday. However, outside hitter Natalia Parreira, who had a sprained left ankle suffered in the Busters' regular-season finale against Pratt, returned to play in all three games over the weekend.
Garden City beat Dodge City in its first game of the double-elimination round on Saturday, 17-25, 25-22, 25-18, 25-22.
"We came out a little, either a little nervous, or a little flat in the first game, as you expect to happen," Lutz said. "Once things settled down, we took control of the match and played well."
Garden City went on to play top-seeded Hutchinson, and ended up losing in three, 25-23, 25-21, 25-12.
"We really, truly had our chances to win Games 1 and 2 against Hutch," Lutz said. "Credit Hutch for being a solid team and being able to rebound and win the crucial points when they needed to to close out Games 1 and 2. Once we lost Games 1 and 2, I think we lost our confidence. Any time you're playing against a team as good as Hutch and you're not playing well, they're going to hang one up on you pretty good."
Hutchinson went on to win the region and advance to the national tournament, beating Barton in five sets.
Just a year removed from a one-win campaign, Lutz was proud of what the Busters accomplished in his second year at the helm.
"I'm extremely proud of this group of young ladies," he said. "They have worked very, very hard. Their dedication, their sacrifice, to put in as many hours as they do, and to commit as much as they have, and to do everything in their power for their team and their teammates has made it a truly special season."