GAME OF THE WEEK (Sept. 19–25)
SRW VOLLEYBALL: #3 River Ridge 3, #8 Benton 0
BENTON – In a battle of conference unbeatens, the River Ridge varsity girls’ volleyball team traveled to Benton last Tuesday night to decide the top spot in the Six Rivers West.
It took just three sets for coach Diane Langmeier’s squad to come out on top with wins of 25-19, 25-22 and 25-7, which improved the Timberwolves to 6-0 in league play, and gave the Zephyrs their first league loss of the season.
In the first set, River Ridge came out and scored the first four points, before Benton fought their way back to a two-point deficit at 10-8.
The Timberwolves then used a 10-4 scoring spurt to go up 20-12 and never allowed the Zephyrs to get any closer than five points the rest of the set.
Senior Verity Johnson scored the game-winning kill, while fellow senior Taylor Langmeier had a team-high six kills in the first set.
After giving up three straight points to the Timberwolves in the second set, Benton came back to take their only lead of the set at 4-3.
Late in the game, back-to-back kills by Langmeier and junior Skylar White, gave River Ridge a 20-16 advantage.
White then notched four more kills and combined with junior McKenzie Graf on a block kill to give River Ridge a 25-22 victory and a 2-0 lead in the match.
White finished with six kills in the second set, while Langmeier put down five.
The third set started off with White serving up three consecutive aces, as River Ridge jumped out to an early 4-0 lead.
White then added seven kills during a 12-point service run by Langmeier, that put the Timberwolves up 19-3 and eventually led to a 25-7 win.
“Once we got the momentum going, it was hard for Benton to mentally stay in that third game,” said coach Dianne Langmeier. “Benton is a great team, and we are excited for this victory. We know we will have to keep getting better because they will be after us at the end of the season.”
White concluded the night with a team-high 15 kills to go along with two blocks and four service aces.
Langmeier chipped in 14 kills, one block and one service ace.
Dishing out a team-high 22 assists was senior setter Verity Johnson, who as a three-year starter for the Timberwolves, reached a milestone with her 1,000th career assist.
Coming away with a team-high 12 digs was Johnson and junior Faith Schier, while fellow junior Jaci Williams had 11.
“The girls really worked hard to dig up the intense spikes from the Benton girls. We were able to get a hand here or there on the ball enough to slow it down, so other girls could help out and set up our offense,” said coach Langmeier.
On the following Thursday night, the Timberwolves had little trouble picking up a 3-0 sweep over host Belmont with scores of 25-5, 25-14 and 25-16.
Leading the T-Wolves with 17 kills and two service aces was Langmeier, while White had seven kills, one block ad nine digs.
Schier led the team with 15 digs, while Johnson dished out 21 assists.
In their most recent match, the Timberwolves improved to 8-0 in league play with a three-game sweep of visiting Highland, 25-16, 25-10 and 25-12.
“Both teams had some really scrappy defense and all-out hustle,” said coach Langmeier of the match. “We missed more serves than we usually do, and I thought our serve reception wasn’t as good as it has been.”
Having a great night at the net was White, who put down 18 kills and two blocks to go along with two service aces.
Langmeier added 15 kills and one block, while Johnson dished out 16 assists and had one service aces.
Schier came up with a team-high eight digs, while Johnson had six.
River Ridge 3, Benton 0
(from Tuesday, sept. 18)
River Ridge....... 25 25 25
Benton............... 19 22 7
River Ridge leaders
Kills - Skylar White 15, Taylor Langmeier 14. Digs - Faith Schier 12, Verity Johnson 12, Jaci Williams 11. Aces - White 4. Assists - Johnson 22, Jordyn Vogt 2. Blocks - White 2, Langmeier 1.
Kills – Sophie Dougherty 8, Maggie Dougherty 7. Digs – Lydia Jones 17, Taylor Mowry 12. Aces – S. Dougherty 1, Mowry 1, Jones 1. Assists – Sarah Fluhr 20. Blocks – S. Dougherty 3, Shay Soppe 2.