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Barton Volleyball Opens Season Winning Three of Four at McCook Invite


MCCOOK, Neb. ( – The Barton Community College volleyball team opened the 2023 season going 3-1 over the weekend at the McCook Invitational in McCook, Nebraska.

The Cougars split their first two matches on Friday, dropping a three setter to 12th ranked Northeastern Junior College (25-16, 25-23, and 25-13) before turning the tides on Iowa Lakes Community College (25-10, 27-25, and 25-13) to earn the new coaching staff of Head Coach Megan Besecker and Assistant Sarah Simmons their first collegiate win.

On Saturday the Cougars chalked up another pair of sweeps, the first coming over North Platte Community College (25-20, 25-16, 25-21) before dispatching host McCook Community College (25-22, 25-9, 25-11).

Now 3-1, Barton travels to La Junta, Colorado, next weekend for a four-pack of matches at the Otero Junior College Invitational. The Cougars will face North Platte in their first match at 1:00 p.m. Friday followed by a 4:00 p.m. match versus Lamar Community College. On Saturday the Cougars will play consecutive matches beginning at 11:00 a.m., the first versus Eastern Wyoming College before wrapping up the trip against Otero.

Barton will then turn its attention to its conference and home opener on Wednesday, August 30 hosting Garden City Community College.

Friday Highlights
Mya Thompson‘s 11 kills and Phoebe Reyes‘ 10 led Barton in the victory sweep over Iowa Lakes, Thompson at a .455 attack with Reyes an even better .556 on eighteen swings while defensively combining for twelve blocks.

Elena Stankovic keyed the Cougars’ .362 attack with 22 assists, Clara Lindstrom leading the backline coverage with 14 digs while Kassidy Nixon had 10.

The season began four hours earlier in Barton’s game one of the four match weekend on a three set loss to 12th ranked Northeastern.

Nixon led the Cougars with 8 kills in finishing with a team high 14 on the day.

Service received haunted the Cougars throughout, ten coming in the opener with another twelve in the day’s finale.

Saturday Highlights
Nixon led the attack against North Platte with 7 kills but defense was the story as Anna Wierzbicki and Abigale Hardison combined for 17 blocks to offset the Cougars’ .140 offensive attack.

Winding up the weekend with short work of the host, Thompson and Reyes led the Cougars with 10 kills with Naya Danenberg one behind at 9 kills.

Stankovic put up 19 assists leading the Cougars’ .267 attack while the defense was led Lindstrom’s 11 digs as Reyes, Wierzbicki, and Hardison combined for 22 blocks.

Thompson and Reyes finished with 28 total kills on the weekend as they team compiled a .216 hitting percentage with Stankovic averaging 5.50 assists per set.

Defensively, Lindstrom averaged 4.00 digs per set from her libero position with Wierzbicki and Hardison putting up 26 and 21 walls of denial respectively.