Garden City falls to Colby in four sets

GCCC Sports Information Services
Garden City Community College's Pulelehua Keb, left, makes a kill past Independence's Bianca Brierre March 11 during a match at Perryman Athletic Complex.

COLBY - With the regular season winding down, Patrick Hiltz's team is still searching for consistency. Monday night was another roadblock.

Macarena Ruiz posted 22 kills, Ruxanda Flueras had 22 digs, and Colby took down Garden City in four sets 21-25, 18-25, 25-21, 21-25 at the Community Building.

In the opening frame, Garden City grabbed an early 5-4 edge. But on arguably the longest rally of the night that included a couple of great diving saves by Victoria Gehret, Alli Meng's attack sailed wide, and the set the was tied. A few minutes later, the Broncbusters went back on top when Savannah Adams attack was blocked back in her face by Reagan Karlin, Gehret added a service ace, and it was 13-11 Garden City. However, the Trojans responded with a 13-8 run; then finished off the set with McKenna Kirckpatrick's spike down the middle that was just out of the reach of Gehret.

Garden City was out of sorts to begin the second. Kirckpatrick added another kill, Ruiz placed a serve that landed perfectly in the back-left corner; then got a fortuitous bounce off the net for an ace, Kirckpatrick blocked Durahm's spike, and Colby led 12-3. The Broncbusters managed to pull back to within three before the Trojans stretched it back to seven. On set point, Pulelehua Keb hit the ball into the net, and Colby was up 2-0.

The third set was all about perseverance for Hiltz's squad.

The Broncbusters trailed for most of the frame, falling down by as many four. But they battled back and took their first lead at 20-19 following a net violation on Colby. Keb added a spike, Remi Vargas setup Karlin for a kill, and Durham finished things off with a crosscourt hammer that was all made possible after Meng's one-handed diving bump on the backline to save a hot-shot attack by Claire Choloux.

The Trojans then regained control in the fourth opening up a 10-5 advantage. They eventually pushed that to as many seven after Kirckpatrick's kill went off the fingertips of Karlin. The Broncbusters managed to rally back to within three following Karlin's crosscourt kill. But that's as close as Garden City got, and Durham's attack error landed just wide, ending the match.

The loss snapped a two-game winning streak for Garden City who dropped to 10-11 overall and 6-5 in conference. GCCC hosted Colby on Tuesday.