By Mike Pilosof
Photo by Adam Shrimplin
Colby, KS-Patrick Hiltz knew 2019 would be a rebuilding year for Garden City; after all, he inherited a team that went winless the year before. And despite Wednesday night's result, the Broncbusters are making the long trek back from conference obscurity.
The Broncbusters season came to an end in Colby, dropping a three-set decision 11-15, 13-25 and 9-25 in the opening round of the Region VI Tournament. Garden City finishes the year 7-29.
"I'm extremely disappointed in our effort tonight," Hiltz said after the match. "I would have thought that a playoff game would have brought out some energy, but as a team, it' didn't."
Garden City started the match strong, and following an ace by Tameia Davis and a Jessica Forbes' kill, the Broncbusters were down 11-8. From there though, everything was kind of a blur. The Trojans ripped off seven straight points and closed the frame with a 14-3 run, punctuated by Milica Djukic's kill right down the middle.
"We lacked discipline defensively," Hiltz added. "The game plan worked, and we adjusted well on the block, but for some reason, the right side of our defense was caught out of position all night."
The second set did not start out promising at all. Three service aces by Macarena Ruiz and a kills by Djukic and Kyndal Bacon capped a 9-0 run that gave Colby a 14-4 advantage and forced Garden City to call a timeout. Only a service error by Ruiz finally ended the rally. The Broncbusters got back to within six, but that's as close as they got as the Trojans closed the set on a 9-3 spurt to take a 2-0 lead.
"When the block is doing it's job, it's up to the defense behind the block to do theirs," Hiltz said. "We failed in that area."
The third set was a microcosm of just that.
Colby broke open a 3-3 tie with a 13-2 run and never looked back. On set point, Garden City was called for a double hit, ending the match and the Broncbusters season.
"Serve receive was also not good," Hiltz said. "When you can pass the ball in serve receive, you never get blown out. If you can't pass, you get scores like we got tonight. It's simple."