By Mike Pilosof
Photo by Adam Shrimplin
Colby, KS-Going up against one of the top teams in the conference was a daunting task at best. But Garden City held their own for most of the first set before falling in three to Colby, 22-25, 16-25 and 9-25 at the Community Building.
"I feel like we played one of our best sets of the year in set one," Head Coach Patrick Hiltz said afterwards. "We just made a few too many hitting errors, and you can't afford to do that against anyone, but especially not against good teams like Colby."
Angel Sherman tallied a couple of early kills; coupled with a slew of Colby hitting errors, put the Broncbusters on top 13-11. But the Trojans responded with four straight points, capped when Claire Choloux deflected a block off of Katie McHugh to put the home team up 15-13. Colby eventually built a 24-20 advantage before the Broncbusters made one final move to get back into the set. Sheridan Rodriguez blocked Choloux at the net. That was followed by a hitting error on Karleeann Ramos that pulled Garden City to within two. But that's as close as they got. Katarina Vojvodic's attack was blocked by Llani Myers and Macarena Ruiz, giving the Trojans the set.
"We battled point for point with them," Hiltz said.
The second set was a totally different story.
Trailing by three, Garden City watched Colby go on a 9-3 spurt to build a 19-10 lead. After the Broncbusters cut it to seven, a block by Rodriguez went out of bounds. Facing set point, Sherman's cross-court kill attempt sailed wide left, putting Garden City in a 2-0 hole.
"Our energy disappeared, and we looked lethargic in almost all aspects of the game," Hiltz said. "Sets two and three had nothing to do with volleyball. Our issue was mental."
In the third set, Colby built an early five-point edge. Then the home squad blitzed the Broncbusters with an 8-2 run, punctuated with a Myers kill. The Trojans pushed the lead to double digits; then finished off the match when Meosha Erving's attack went into the net.
"We know we are better than we showed today," Hiltz added. "We have to get some things worked out, and we will be able to get back on track. We have a difficult part of our schedule coming up, so we need to right the ship quickly so we can go win some more matches."
The Broncbusters committed 17 errors on 83 total attacks. Erving, Sherman and Vojvodic led the way with four kills apiece. McHugh added 13 assists, and Alexandra Jackson had 13 digs.
Garden City is back home on Wednesday night vs. Barton. Match time is set for 6:30 p.m.