MCDONALD'S SWNEWS4U.COM GAME OF THE WEEK (Aug. 25-Sept. 1)
PREP VOLLEYBALL: Highland Six Rivers Jamboree
By Jason Nihles, The Platteville Journal
HIGHLAND — The Potosi volleyball team got off to a sensational start to the 2021 season, by winning Saturday’s eight-team Highland Six Rivers Tournament.
Coach Jolene Murray’s Chieftains, who advanced to the WIAA Division 4 sectional semifinals a year ago, swept through its four-team pool, then rallied to beat pool B runner-up Southwestern 19–25, 25–17, 15–11 in the gold bracket semifinals.
The Chieftains then battled the host Cardinals in the championship, rallying once again from a game one loss to pull out a 21–25, 25–14, 15–9 victory.
“I think the girls did some really good things on Saturday,” said Murray. “It was a warm day and they lasted in those last two matches when they were very hot and tired, which tells me we’re starting out the season this year in a lot better shape.”
Potosi opened Saturday with a dominating 25–6, 25–10 victory over Six Rivers West foe Shullsburg, then swept Weston 25–13, 25–12 and eventual third-place finisher Benton (another Six Rivers foe) 25–13, 25–20 to win pool A with a 3–0 record.
“Our serving is continuing to get better,” said Murray. “Our goal is always for consistency and getting it over the net rather than striving to score points off aces. In a total of 12 sets, we only missed 17 serves, which I think is a pretty good start. I was extremely happy with our defense. I really feel that is what is going to help us get past teams that have more size than us. Other than Kylie Reuter in the middle, we don’t have a lot of height. I was very proud of the girls coming back from losing the first set in our last two matches. Even though we lost six seniors that were all part of our playing line up last year, we are also having some experience coming back, and I think that leadership really came out on Saturday.”
Senior middle hitter Kylie Reuter posted a team-high 40 kills and 12 blocks to lead the Chieftains.
Fellow senior Jessica Noonan finished with 32 kills and a team-high 76 digs, while junior middle hitter Brooke Traver added 15 kills and seven blocks.
Junior setter Emily Bierman passed out 110 assists in five matches and served up four aces and had 18 digs. Junior Malia Weber had 27 digs and a team-high 11 aces. Senior libero Mykaylia Bauer made a team-high 75 digs.
Potosi (5–0) opened Six Rivers West play Tuesday at home against Belmont (0–1, 0–1 SRW) and will now travel to Shullsburg Thursday night before hosting River Ridge Tuesday night.
Highland Six Rivers Jamboree Tournament
(from Saturday, Aug. 28 @ Highland)
Championship: Potosi def. Highland 21–25, 25–14, 15–9
Third-place: Benton def. Southwestern
Semifinals: Potosi def. Southwestern 19-25, 25-17, 15-11; Highland def. Benton.
Pool A: Potosi 3–0, Benton 2–1, Shullsburg 1–2, Weston 0–3
Pool B: Highland 3–0, Southwestern 2–1, Ithaca 1–2, Cassville 0–3.
Potosi’s pool play match scores
Potosi def. Shullsburg 25–6, 25–10
Potosi def. Weston 25–13, 25–12
Potosi def. Benton 25–13, 25–20
Potosi stat leaders
Kills: Kylie Reuter 40, Jessica Noonan 32, Aspen Walsh 21, Brooke Traver 15. Blocks: Reuter 12, Traver 7. Assists: Emily Bierman 110, Gracie Breitsprecker 9. Aces: Malia Weber 11, Bierman 4. Digs: Noonan 76, Mykaylia Bauer 75, Weber 27, Bierman 18.