By Mike Pilosof
Otero, CO-Garden City put themselves in position for their first win of the season. But in the end, Patrick Hiltz's team couldn't finish as they dropped their final two matches of the Otero Junior College Classic, losing to North Platte in five (30-28, 25-11, 17-25, 15-25, 11-15) and Otero in four (15-25, 17-25, 25-22, 25-19). The Broncbusters are now 0-9.
"I'm tired of talking about how close we are," Hiltz said. "We need to finish. That's what it comes down to."
The first match of the day showed Garden City's true potential. Trailing 24-20 in the opening set, the Broncbusters rallied for a 30-28 victory. They looked even better in the second set, leading by double digits most of the way, cruising to a 14-point win.
"I thought we went backwards on Friday," Hiltz explained. "But today, was much better as far as effort. We got a little better today."
Things started to unravel a bit in the third. Garden City couldn't match North Platte's best run of the day, as the Knights surged in front by 10. They won the set by eight. In the fourth, the Broncbusters couldn't find any rhythm and suddenly found themselves in a dog fight. That setup a dramatic final frame, where Garden City led 8-7 at the side change. But the Knights countered with a 6-1 run. As the Broncbusters slowly regained their footing, Hilt'z team missed a serve on match point.
"I thought we recovered, for the most part today," the first-year coach added. "We were more of a team today."
In the second match, the Broncbusters dug themselves into a 2-0 hole before rallying back to take the third set by three. In the fourth, Garden City had a chance to force a decisive stanza, but unforced errors late in the set put the game away.
"We had some mental errors on some easy plays," Hiltz said. "That can't happen."
Garden City is back in action on Monday at Hutchinson beginning at 6:30.