Garden City, KS (westernkansasnews.com)-After a promising start to the 2016 season, Garden City has fallen on tough times.
Despite battling from behind the entire match, the Broncbusters dropped a four-set heartbreaker to Pratt 18-25, 23-25, 25-18, 12-25 Wednesday night at the Perryman Athletic Complex.
“I’m not here to make excuses,” Head Coach Jacquelynne Matula said after the match. “But we are still practicing with our new lineup. We’re trying to figure out what works, and with little practice time, it’s been tough.”
The Broncbusters have dropped four in a row and nine out of their last 10.
And this night started rough for Matula’s bunch.
Garden City (3-10, 1-4) fell down 16-8 in the first set. They eventually climbed back to within four at 22-18 before the Baavers rattled off the final three points to take the opening frame.
“We’re going to figure this thing out,” Matula said. “We’re just going to have to figure it out on the go.”
The second set epitmoized Garden City’s season.
After leading for most of frame, Pratt (6-9, 1-2) stormed back to tie the match at 16. Moments later, the Beavers had a 21-18 edge, and Coach Matula called a timeout.
“We are lacking consistency right now,” Matula said. “In that second set, it was fairly evident.”
Garden City never bowed out, pulling back to within one at 24-23. But they would not score again, and Maria Ruiz’s kill gave the Beavers a 2-0 advantage.
In the third set, Matula saw the squad she envisioned all along; the one who battled past Butler on opening night.
Garden City raced out to a 17-9 edge. Then, when Pratt pulled to within three, it was the Broncbusters making one final push-sparked by Allyson Knoll‘s kill that forced another set.
“I continue to see these girls grow up and buy in,” Matula said. “We will get there; I know we will.”
In the final set, Garden City simply ran out of gas. Pratt stampeded out to a 19-10 lead before scoring six out of the final eight points to take the match in four.