By Mike Pilosof
Pratt, KS-Through all the tough times this season, Garden City has never lost their fight. Monday night definitely showed that.
After giving up a big lead in the opening frame, the Broncbusters muscled their way back to take down Pratt in five sets 21-25, 25-18, 23-25, 25-19, 15-8 at the Beaver Dome.
"I'm really pleased with how we responded," Head Coach Jacquelynne Matula said. "It was fun to see these girls come together."
Ashley Brown paced the Broncbusters early, as she instigated a six-point service run, helping Garden City build a 9-1 lead in the first set. But Pratt did not go away.
The Beavers rallied back with a block from Lexi Schamberger and a service ace by Paige Brown to tie the match.
"We are learning things on the fly," Matula said. "We could have easily folded and we didn't."
Brooke Menheusen terminated a kill to push the Beavers in front 20-19. From there, Pratt (5-13, 2-3) scored three straight points as their advantage swelled to three. Even a Matula timeout did not stop the bleeding as a net violation gave the Beavers their biggest advantage of the set 23-19.
A net violation and a Garden City miscue gave Pratt the first set.
"It was disappointing, but they fought back tremendously, and even fell behind for a bit in the second set."
The Beavers quickly jumped on the Broncbusters in the second, scoring four out of the first five points. But Madison Park steadied Garden City, and her kill eventually evened the match 4-4.
The two teams went back and forth from there, with Garden City scoring five straight points to take a 9-5 lead before Pratt answered to tie the set at 11. A Shaney Tiumalu kill put the Broncbusters in front for good before she added an ace coupled with a net violation to wrap up the stanza.
Garden City (3-14, 1-3) held a 23-22 lead late in the third, but an error followed by a Paige Brown kill put Pratt up 24-23. Then Schamberger spiked a ball that deflected off of two Broncbusters to end the set.
The Broncbusters responded by turning a competitive fourth set into a runaway; then scored 10 out of the final 13 points in the last frame capped off with Timalu's block, officially ending a 10-match losing streak.
"These girls have tested me this year in a good way as a coach," Matula said. "It hasn't always been pretty, but we got it done tonight."
Garden City is back on the road Saturday at Barton County. Match time set for 2 p.m.