The Garden City Community College volleyball team continues to make progress, but their inability to finish cost them again on Thursday against McCook, Neb.
Garden City controlled most of the first two sets only and made a big comeback in the third. But McCook closed them out in four (27-29, 22-25, 25-22 and 11-25).
"It's the same old story," Head Coach Patrick Hiltz said. "We play well in stretches, but commit errors at the worst times."
The Broncbusters took control early in the first set with a kill by Katie McHugh to put Garden City up 8-5. They extended that lead to 13-7 on the back of Tameia Davis's block and kill that forced McCook Head Coach Hayley Kobza to call a timeout.
"We came out with a lot of energy in that first set," Hiltz said. "We played really hard. I think we've proved that our system works.”
Despite McCook making a late surge, Garden City held a 23-20 advantage following Katarina Vojvodic's cross-court kill. But the Indians responded with three straight points, and then took a 24-23 lead on Fernanda Canedo's kill. The teams exchanged points over the next few minutes before a Garden City error gave McCook a two-point win.
Garden City came out strong again in the second, building an early 9-5 edge following Vojvodic's block. But again, McCook answered with five straight points. Later in the set, the Indians used a quick 3-0 spurt to take a 19-16 edge. Madison Mendoza kept the pressure on, sending a diagonal kill passed a diving Alexandra Jackson. Once the Broncbusters pulled to within one, 22-21 thanks to a service ace by Summer Nerkowski, Sheridan Rodriguez's block attempt went out of bounds. Brown followed with a line drive that Nerkowski couldn't get to, and the Indians had a 2-0 advantage in the match.
"We made mental errors at crucial times tonight," Hiltz said.
Garden City fought through adversity in the third, falling behind by as many as seven points. But they responded with a 9-4 run to tie the set at 21. Moments later, Meosho Erving powered ball down the middle of the McCook defense, giving the Broncbusters their first lead of the stanza, 23-22. Erving added a set-clinching kill afterwards, keeping Garden City alive.
But the fourth set was Garden City's undoing. It didn't take long for the Indians to go on the attack, and suddenly Hiltz's squad was staring at a 10-2 deficit. That lead hit double digits when McCook's Jayceea Hanson blocked a spike attempt at the net to make it 17-7. The Indians coasted from there.
"I think we gave up on that fourth set, and that's unacceptable," Hiltz said. "Other than that, I like what I saw."
Vojvodic led the way for Garden City with 17 kills, and Katie McHugh added in 33 assists.
The Broncbusters hosted Independence Friday night.