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MCDONALD'S GAME OF THE WEEK (Volleyball): Potosi 3, River Ridge 1
Chieftains take sole possession of first place in SRW
Kylie Reuter
Potosi senior middle hitter Kylie Reuter posted 20 kills, three blocks and two aces to lead the Chieftains to a 3–1 victory over River Ridge last Tuesday night to take over sole possession of first place in the Six Rivers West. - photo by photo by A.J. Gates / Herald Independent

PREP VOLLEYBALL: Potosi 3, River Ridge 1

By Jason Nihles, The Platteville Journal

POTOSI — Potosi scored a key Six Rivers West victory over visiting River Ridge last Tuesday night to take over sole possession for first play in the league.

Senior middle hitter Kylie Reuter floored 20 kills, to go along with three blocks and two aces, and Katelyn Guiney served up six aces to lead coach Jolene Murray’s Chieftains to a 20–25, 27–25, 25–15, 25–21 comeback victory.

Two night later Potosi swept host Cassville 25–13, 25–8, 25–12 to improve 4–0 in the SRW. Meanwhile River Ridge  fell to 7–3 overall and 3–1 in the SRW after last Tuesday’s loss.

“We got off to slow start of 0–7 in the first set, and that’s always tough to come back from,” said Murray. “We did have a come back in that first game when Mykaylia Bauer served six straight points to get us to 20–24, but it’s hard to go from 13–24, and not be able to make any mistakes and win rallies to get you back in the set.” 

Playing without two regular starters, coach Diane Langmeier’s River Ridge squad entered Tuesday’s match short handed, but had other players step up in their absence.

It looked early on as if the Timberwolves hadn’t skipped a beat, as they came out firing on all cylinders in the opening set with a 7–0 lead. The Timberwolves  maintained a seven-point advantage with a 13–6 lead, before Potosi went on a four-point run to make it 13–10 and eventually cut their deficit to two points at 15–13. River Ridge responded with nine straight points to take a 24–13 lead and the eventual victory, but not before the Chieftains scored seven straight points to pull within 24–20.

In the second set, it was Potosi jumping out to a early 5–0 lead, which they extended to 11–5 before River Ridge answered with six straight points to even the score at 11–11. The Timberwolves eventually took a two-point lead of 14–12 before Potosi knotted things up at 14–14 and then took a two-point lead of their own at 18–16. Battling back and forth, the two teams were tied at 18–18, 19–19 and 20–20 before Potosi jumped out to a 23–20 advantage. On a kill by Kylie Reuter, the Chieftains were on the brink of victory with a 24–22 lead, but had difficulty putting the Timberwolves away.

River Ridge fought back to a 24–24 tie on an ace by Kennedy Copsey, and after the score was tied again at 25–25, the Chieftains then put the game away to claim a 27–25 victory. With momentum on their side, Potosi secured a 25–15 victory in the third set, then won the fourth set by a score of 25-21.

“We were able to get the third set pretty handily at 25–15, but they definitely made us work in the fourth set,” said Murray. “It was pretty back and forth, but Katelyn Guiney was able to stay in that server spot for six straight points after only being up 12–11 to pus the lead to 18–11.”

Senior outside hitter Jessica Noonan finished with 16 kills and a team-high 29 digs, while junior setter Emily Bierman passed out 43 assists and made 12 digs, and senior libero Mykaylia Bauer made 22 digs.

“We had a lot of hustle plays in the River Ridge match, which also helps with momentum because it really gets your crowd into the mix,” said Murray. “We are fortunate to have some amazing back row players in Mykaylia and Jess that can get to balls that would most times drop.  Kylie had a huge night at the net and showed what she can do. Jess and Aspen were also able to nail down some kills. Emily continues to add her athleticism into the mix making sets look easy that really aren’t.”

“Kylie Reuter and the Chieftains dominated at the net in the last couple of sets,” said Langmeier. “We had some great volleys at times, but we also had some missed serves, and again, spikes that were out or in the net way too many times.”

Leading the Timberwolves with 17 kills was junior Payton Millin, who also had a team-high five blocks. Fellow junior Madelyn Thornton and sophomore Shayna Graf each finished with eight kills.

Reuter led the Chieftains Thursday night with a team-high 16 kills in the sweep of Cassville. Noonan (eight), Walsh (seven) and Brooke Traver (five) combined for an additional 20 kills for the winners.

Saturday, Potosi (15–1, 4–0 SRW) suffered its first loss of the season, but still posted a 6–1 record to place second at the eight-team Lancaster round robin tournament.

Lancaster also finished 6–1 on the day, but won the tie-breaker via a 20–25, 25–20, 15–13 victory over the Chieftains in round 5 of the tournament.

Potosi swept Kickapoo 25–13, 25–14, Fennimore 25–17, 25-17 and Southwestern 25–22, 25–20 to begin the day. The Chieftains then swept Black Hawk 25–27, 26–24 before the loss to Lancaster, and finished the day with a 25–9, 25–12 sweep of the Lancaster JV and a gritty 22–25, 25–17, 15–5 comeback win over Viroqua in the final match of the day.

Retuer led the team with 70 kills and 23 blocks on the day. Noonan had a nice all-around tournament with 34 kills, 85 digs and seven aces. Bierman passed out 126 assists and Bauer made 115 digs in the seven matches.

Potosi will travel to Benton for a Six River West match Thursday night before traveling to Highland Tuesday night.

Potosi 3, River Ridge 1 
(from Tuesday, Sept. 7 @ Potosi)
River Ridge  25 25 15 21
Potosi  20 27 25 25
Potosi stat leaders 
Kills: Kylie Reuter 20, Jessica Noonan 16, Aspen Walsh 6. Blocks: Reuter 3, Bierman 1. Assists: Bierman 43. Aces: Katelyn Guiney 6, Reuter 2.  Digs: Noonan 29, Mykaylia Bauer 22, Bierman 12, Malia Weber 9, Guiney 8, Reuter 7. 

Potosi 3, Cassville 0
(from Thursday, Sept. 9 @ Cassville)
Potosi  25 25 25
Cassville  13 8 12
Potosi stat leaders 
Kills: Kylie Reuter 16, Jessica Noonan 8, Aspen Walsh 7, Brooke Traver 5. Blocks: Traver 1, Noonan 1. Assists: Bierman 32. Aces: Noonan 5, Katelyn Guiney 4, Malia Weber 3. Digs: Mykaylia Bauer 23, Noonan 14, Malia Weber 8, Reuter 5. 

Lancaster Tournament
(from Saturday, Sept. 11 @ Lancaster)
Standings: Lancaster 6–1, Potosi 6–1, Southwestern 4–3, Fennimore 4–3, Viroqua 3–4, Kickapoo 3–4, Black Hawk 2–5, Lancaster JV 0–7
Potosi match scores 
Potosi def. Kickapoo 25–13, 25–14
Potosi def. Fennimore 25–17, 25–17
Potosi def. Southwestern 25–22, 25–20
Potosi def. Black Hawk 25–17, 26–24
Lancaster def. Potosi 20–25, 25–20, 15–13
Potosi def. Lancaster JV 25–9, 25–12
Potosi def. Viroqua 22–25, 25–17, 15–5
Potosi stat leaders 
Kills: Kylie Reuter 70, Jessica Noonan 34, Aspen Walsh 16. Blocks: Reuter 23, Brooke Traver 12. Assists: Emily Bierman 126. Aces: Katelyn Guiney 10, Malia Weber 10, Noonan 7. Digs: Mykaylia Bauer 115, Noonan 85.