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Cloud County takes down Garden City in three

Cloud County takes down Garden City in three

Concordia, KS-No matter how close Garden City got on Wednesday night, the Broncbusters could never get ahead. 

And for that, Cloud County made them pay. 

The Thunderbirds completed a three-set sweep of Garden City 25-13, 25-22 and 25-12. 

"Every aspect of our game was good tonight except our offense," Head Coach Jacque Matula said. "We couldn't finish runs. And that has hurt us all season long."

Cloud County (12-19, 6-9)  won for the first time in 16 days. Carla Flach sparked them with a team-best nine kills and 21 assists. Kylie McKinney and Bailey Lewis had seven digs apiece. 

After trailing early, Garden City (6-25, 2-13) pulled to within one 10-9 in the first set. But after the Thunderbirds called a timeout, they scored five out of the next six points, fueled by Elizabeth Nobert's kill that made it 15-10. 

"We have to learn how to respond better," Matula added. "They attacked us all night."

Norbert continued her assault, adding a block later in the set to extend Cloud County's advantage to 22-11. 

Irem Bat took over in the second set, adding a pair of kills to give the Cloud County an early 8-6 edge. That lead would grow to as many as eight at 19-11 before Garden City mounted a serious comeback. 

The Broncbusters fought back to tie the match at 21 forcing a Thunderbird timeout. 

"I'm proud of how they didn't give up," Matula said. "We've been on the other end of that scenario at times this season."

That's as close as Garden City would get. 

The Thunderbirds closed the frame by scoring four out of the final five points to take a 2-0 lead. 

"It's amazing how different we look from one set to the next," Matula explained. "It's been that way all year long."

The third set played out the same way as the second, with Cloud County holding a 10-7 edge. But five coslty, Garden City errors fueled another Thunderbird run, and Cloud County closed the match on a 15-2 spurt. 

"When all the pieces come together, this team will be pretty good," Matula said. "But right now, we're not firing on all cylinders. It's always one area that's lacking, and tonight, it was our offense."

Megan Besecker had eight kills for Garden City, who lost for the ninth time in their last 11 matches. Conference co-defensive player of the week Bailey Martinez added 19 digs. 

Garden City closes out the home portion of their schedule Friday night vs. Barton County. 6:30 match time.