Barton completes competition in Alaska still seeking first win of the season

Archived photo of sophomore Kaytlin Elkins, who collected 68 kills over four matches this weekend at the UAA Invitational, including a career-high 30 against host Alaska Anchorage. | Photo by Benny Benton
Archived photo of sophomore Kaytlin Elkins, who collected 68 kills over four matches this weekend at the UAA Invitational, including a career-high 30 against host Alaska Anchorage. | Photo by Benny Benton

by Benny Benton

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The Barton College women's volleyball team completed play in the UAA Invitational still seeking its first win of 2018 after dropping straight-set decisions on Saturday to Michigan Tech and Alaska Fairbanks.

The losses, 25-13, 25-16, 25-15, to Michigan Tech and 25-15, 25-18, 25-18 to UAF, followed 3-1 setbacks to Western New Mexico and host Alaska Anchorage on Friday, leaving the Lady Bulldogs 0-4 on opening weekend.

Sophomore Kaytlin Elkins led Barton in kills in all four matches, averaging nearly five kills per set, while redshirt senior Riley Bane averaged better than four digs per set over the course of the invitational.

Alaska Fairbanks 3, Barton 0

In its final match of the invitational, Barton held an 8-5 lead in set one and a 4-2 advantage very early in set two, but never seriously threatened the Nanooks (2-1).

Barton hit just over .035 for the contest, although senior middle Allie Cullens delivered seven kills without an error for a .636 percentage.

Elkins had 10 kills and eight digs in the loss, and Bane collected a team-high 12 digs. Sophomore Camryn Frederick recorded a career-high eight kills for the Lady Bulldogs, and freshman Brittany Silance reached double-digits in digs for the first time collegiately, producing 11.

Tatum Upchurch paced Alaska Fairbanks with a double-double of 11 kills and 10 digs. Lahra Weber also had 11 kills, and Makena Overbey amassed a match-high 17 digs. Cate Whiting served up four of the Nanooks' nine aces in the contest.

Michigan Tech 3, Barton 0

The Lady Bulldogs produced their best attack percentage of the weekend against the Huskies (3-0), hitting .133, but surrendered their worst defensively, allowing Michigan Tech to attack at a blistering .400 clip.

Michigan Tech made just nine total errors in 100 attacks. Anna Jonyas rapped out 13 kills without an error in 26 attempts for a .500 percentage, and Olivia Ghormley added 13 kills while committing just two errors in 26 attempts (.426).

Elkins posted a double-double for Barton with 12 kills and 10 digs, and Cullens delivered seven kills while hitting .545.

Barton fell behind quickly in both sets one and three, but did put up a battle in the second frame. The Lady Bulldogs led early, 6-4, and trailed by just one at 12-11 following a block by Cullens and Elkins. However, the Huskies outscored BC 13-4 over the remainder of the set.

Alaska Anchorage 3, Barton 1

In a match that began late Friday night Eastern Time and ended in the wee hours of Saturday morning, host Alaska Anchorage (2-0) downed the Lady Bulldogs in four sets despite a career-high 30 kills from Elkins.

Over half of those kills, 16, came in the third set alone, including the final three points for Barton as the Lady Bulldogs overcame a match point by the Seawolves to extend the match to a fourth set.

However, Barton hit negative .148 in the final frame, producing just six kills, and Alaska Anchorage gradually built on a one-point cushion midway through the set to finish off the match.

Senior Chrisalyn Johnson hit .412 while producing a team-high 15 kills to pace the Seawolves, and added 15 digs to complete her 26th career double-double.

Alaska Anchorage was dominant at the net, out-blocking Barton 14-5.   

Bane had a match-high 24 digs in a losing cause for the Lady Bulldogs, and sophomore Ashley Owen chipped in 10.

Barton will return to action next weekend at the Queens Volleyball Fall Classic in Charlotte, N.C.