Final home match takes five games
The Dodge City Lady Conquistadors closed out their volleyball regular season in stunning fashion by beating rival Garden City in five games in Jayhawk West action at the DCCC Gymnasium.
Only one of the five games played between the teams went more than two points as Dodge City beat the Lady Busters for the second time in three matches this season (23-25, 25-20, 26-24, 23-25, 15-13).
All three sophomores on the Lady Conqs' squad had huge games during their last home action. Outside hitter Chantal Birbaum recorded 17 kills for Dodge City (14-23, 3-11), middle blocker Victoria Cross recorded 12 kills and also had four blocks, and libero Mallory Ratts recorded four aces. Freshman setter Alyse Barclay also had a big night for Dodge City with five kills, five aces and three blocks.
Garden City (19-17, 5-8) was led by Taylor Winchester with 17 kills, while Paula Gonzales recorded eight kills and Natalia Parreira had six kills.
Both teams had a number of unforced errors in the match, but both teams were also able to get runs in each of the games to keep the other from blowing the game open.
The first game saw the two teams trade the lead before Garden City closed out by scoring the last four points to give the Busters a 1-0 game lead. Winchester had five kills to lead the Busters, while Barclay recorded two kills and two aces to lead Dodge City.
The second game saw the Lady Conqs close out the match, scoring the last five points to even the match at a game apiece. Birbaum had five kills and Cross had three more to lead Dodge City, while Gonzales led Garden City in kills with four.
Dodge City trailed by seven late in the third game before rattling off 10 of the last 11 points to take a 2-1 games lead in the match. Birbaum had five kills in that game, while Cross had three kills and two blocks. Winchester had five kills for the Lady Busters.
The fourth game was a see-saw affair until late as Garden City scored five of the last seven points to even the match at two games apiece and force a 15-point tiebreaker. Parreria and Winchester had two kills and an ace apiece for the Lady Busters, while Barclay had two blocks and two aces and Birbaum three kills for Dodge City.
The Lady Conqs took advantage of a number of Garden City unforced errors to build a 10-6 lead and had four match point victories. The Lady Busters were able to get three back, but Cross' third kill of the game over the Garden City front line sealed the victory for Dodge City.
Dodge City goes to the Region VI tournament as the No. 7 seed and will travel to second-seeded Seward County for a first round game.